Supported by Sweden, Saab has submitted its proposal for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) to Canada. The proposal comprises 88 Gripen E fighter aircraft, with a comprehensive support and training package and an industrial and technological benefits programme. This is the formal response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on July 23, 2019. Saab is committing to deliver an industrial programme that has been designed to generate long-lasting, high-tech employment opportunities, and business opportunities across all regions of Canada.
The bids are in for Canada’s fighter competition, and three companies will go head-to-head for the chance to build 88 new jets. The Canadian government on Friday confirmed that the field is down to two American entrants — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet — as well as Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab’s Gripen E. All companies submitted proposals before the July 31 deadline. The contest is scheduled to be decided in 2022, with the first aircraft delivery projected in 2025. Up to CA$19 billion (U.S. $14 billion) is up for grabs. Canada could downselect to two bidders in spring 2021 after an initial evaluation of proposals, until the final selection of a single bidder in 2022.
“Saab’s Gripen fighter is designed to operate in harsh environments and defeat the most advanced global threats. The system meets all of Canada’s specific defence requirements, offering exceptional performance and advanced technical capabilities. A unique element of the avionics design is that Gripen E’s system can be updated quickly, maintaining technological superiority against any adversary,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.“With Saab and Gripen, the Royal Canadian Air Force will have full control of its fighter system. A guarantee to share key technology, in-country production, support and through-life enhancements will ensure that Canada’s sovereignty is enhanced for decades.”
A core element of the Gripen Industrial offering is the formation of the Gripen for Canada Team, which consists of IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation. Sweden and Brazil have ordered Gripen E, with the first aircraft delivered into both countries’ development programmes. Brazil has also ordered the dual-seat Gripen F and will be the sixth nation to operate Gripen, along with Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, and Thailand. Additionally, the UK Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) uses Gripen for test pilot training.The Saab supplier team includes Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG, MBDA UK Ltd., and RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.