The Canadian Government has selected two bidders as finalists for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) competition. The eligible bidders are Swedish firm Saab and Lockheed Martin, which implies Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III aircraft has been dismissed. Saab proposed its Gripen E while Lockheed Martin offered its F-35 for the programme. The Canadian Government stated that the proposals were strictly evaluated on capability and cost aspects. Assessment of economic impact was also evaluated during the process. Canada will conclude the next steps for the process, which is also based on further analysis of the proposals raised by Saab and Lockheed.
A contract award is expected by next year while the first aircraft is expected to be delivered as early as 2025. The process would also involve proceeding to final talks with the top bidder or entering a ‘competitive dialogue’. As part of the competitive dialogue, the two finalists will be provided with an opportunity to enhance their proposals. A contract award is expected by next year while the first aircraft is expected to be delivered as early as 2025. At the beginning of this year, Saab proposed to build a sensor centre under its bid for the FFCP. The proposal is part of Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits policy from the company.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB. It has canard control surfaces that contribute a positive lift force at all speeds, while the generous lift from the delta wing compensates for the rear stabiliser producing negative lift at high speeds, increasing induced drag. Being intentionally unstable and employing digital fly-by-wire flight controls to maintain stability removes many flight restrictions. The Gripen also has good short takeoff performance, being able to maintain a high sink rate and strengthened to withstand the stresses of short landings.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. The F-35 was designed with three initial variants – the F-35A, a CTOL land-based version; the F-35B, a STOVL version capable of use either on land or on aircraft carriers; and the F-35C, a CATOBAR carrier-based version. Since then, there has been work on the design of nationally specific versions for Israel and Canada, as well as initial concept design work for an updated version of the F-35A, which would become the F-35D.