… the Eurofighter Typhoon is “in” the competition to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 jet fighters.
A report in FlightGlobal, from about a week ago, says that “Eurofighter, a joint venture among Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, was assumed to be one of the bidders in the competition to replace the RCAF’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets, but it hadn’t yet publicly acknowledged its desire to play for the contract. Simon Jacques, head of Airbus defense and space in Canada, said at a company event in Montreal that his firm intends to submit a proposal for the Typhoon.“
The report reminds us that “In October, [the] RCAF [actually Public Services and Procurement Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada] issued a draft request for proposal to replace its aging CF-18A/B fleet. Ottawa listed five suppliers eligible to compete: Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale; Saab, maker of the JAS 39 Gripen; Airbus Defense – on behalf of the Eurofighter joint venture, maker of the Typhoon; Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-16 and F-35; and Boeing, maker of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15E Strike Eagle. Only those five will be allowed to submit proposals … [but readers will recall that, in November, Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale, pull out of the competition] … The RCAF plans to receive initial proposals from bidders between summer and winter 2019. A contract is anticipated to be awarded during the winter months of 2021-2022 … [and] … Canada wants initial aircraft to be delivered in 2025, with initial operational capability achieved by 2026. The government wants all aircraft delivered by 2031 or 2032, at which time the CF-18 fleet will be retired.“
M Jacques said that “the Eurofighter bid will include some sort of participation from Canadian manufacturers, though the type of involvement in the aircraft’s supply chain or extent was not specified.” Again, readers will recall that Airbus has entered into a joint venture with Bombardier and I have speculated, more than once, that the Typhoon might be the better political choice … especially if one desires to the finger to President Donald J Trump.
The long, drawn out procurement process is 100% political: Public Services and Procurement Canada could complete the entire process in about 18 months from now except for the fact that Team Trudeau wants to delay things until Canadians have forgotten all its contradictory promises. Delivery could/should begin in 2023 and the CF-18s could go to the scrap yard before the end of the 2020s.