Canada Extends Deadline for Responses to Future Fighter Capability Project RFP

The Government of Canada has extended the deadline to submit preliminary responses to Request for Proposals (RFP) issued for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

According to a press release by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), an earlier March 30 deadline for submission of preliminary proposals was extended until June 30, 2020, at the request of industry.

“This extension supports our commitment to conduct an open, fair, and transparent competition. Procurements of this magnitude are complex, and submission of a good proposal is important for suppliers and for Canada. This extension allows eligible suppliers to address recent feedback on their security offers, ensuring that Canada receives competitive proposals that meet its technical, cost and economic benefits requirements”, said the PSPC release.

“The government set out an aggressive timeline to implement this very complex, high-value procurement, and while we understand the importance of this procurement for our women and men in uniform, our focus is on moving the process forward as quickly as we can, while ensuring that all bidders have the time they need to put forward their best proposal”, said Anita Anand, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

“Our government is making the necessary decisions to get the best aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canada. This extension will allow the eligible suppliers to make their best possible offer to ensure that we are able to provide the equipment our members need at a fair cost to Canadians”, said Harjit S. Sajjan, the Minister of National Defence.

“Canada’s Industrial Technological Benefits policy is expected to generate high-value jobs and economic growth for Canadian aerospace and defence businesses for decades. Ensuring that all suppliers have the opportunity to put their best bid forward is important to ensure strong economic benefits are secured for Canadians”, said Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP)

Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project seeks to procure 88 advanced fighter aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing fleet of CF-18 fighter jets. The project is the most significant investment in the RCAF in more than 30 years and is essential for protecting the safety and security of Canadians and meeting international obligations.

The formal RFPs for the program were released on July 23 last year to four international companies following extensive engagement with industry and eligible suppliers over the past 18 months.

They are:

+ Sweden — SAAB Aeronautics – Gripen
+ United Kingdom — Airbus Defense and Space GmbH (with MBDA UK Limited, L3 Technologies MAS and CAE Canada) – Eurofighter Typhoon – withdrew from the program on August 30, 2019.
+ United States — Lockheed Martin (with Pratt and Whitney) – F-35 Lightning II
+ United States — The Boeing Company (with Peraton Canada Corp., CAE Inc., L3 Technologies MAS Inc., GE Canada and Raytheon Canada Limited Services and Support Division) – F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The French Dassault team, offering Rafale, was also initially part of the suppliers list. On November 8, 2018, Dassault announced its decision to officially withdraw from the competition.

Canada is using a phased-bid compliance process, which is an additional measure to ensure that bidders will have an opportunity to address non-compliance in their proposals related to mandatory criteria. Following evaluation of preliminary proposals, a dialogue phase may be conducted with one or more compliant bidders to reduce the risk that a proposal is eliminated due to an error or omission.

Proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of capability (60%), cost (20%) and economic benefits (20%).

All bidders will be subject to the same evaluation criteria, and proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of technical merit (60%), cost (20%) and economic benefits (20%). This procurement attributes one of the highest weightings to economic benefits for Canada in its history. All suppliers will be required to provide a plan for economic benefits equal to the value of their proposed contract, with maximum points only being awarded to suppliers who provide contractual guarantees.

The evaluation of proposals, including any revised proposals, is expected to result in identifying the selected bidder in early 2022, with the first aircraft delivery starting as early as 2025.

The Government of Canada is also working to extend the existing fleet until the permanent replacement fleet is fully operational in 2032.

Canada has entered into an agreement with the Government of Australia to procure 18 F/A-18 fighter aircraft and associated spare parts and equipment to supplement its current CF-18 fleet for an interim period. Under the same agreement, Canada may also acquire up to 7 additional non-flyable fighter aircraft that can be used for testing, training aids or spare parts.

On February 16, 2019, RCAF received the first two interim fighter aircraft in Cold Lake, Alberta.  The additional aircraft will be maintained through existing fleet arrangements, and all aircraft are expected to be transferred to the RCAF by the end of 2021.

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