Saab Announces ‘Gripen for Canada Team’

Swedish defence major, Saab has announced the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’ that will offer the Gripen E fighter aircraft for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), on March 2.

The team includes leading Canadian aerospace companies IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation.

Saab is offering Gripen E, with the support of the Swedish government, for Canada’s future fighter requirement of 88 new aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)’s existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet.

The Canadian Request for Proposal (RFP) requires companies to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits, said a Saab statement claiming that it has demonstrated this with Gripen for Brazil and is offering for Finland and India’s fighter requirements.

Saab’s bid to the Government of Canada will include a comprehensive proposal to deliver those benefits, with high quality jobs and technology, adding greater economic value and knowledge across Canadian industry coast to coast, said the statement.

“Over the past two years, Saab and the Swedish Government have been encouraged by Canada’s open and transparent competition to replace its fighter fleet. Today, we are delighted to announce the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’. We have assembled a dynamic roster of innovative leaders within Canada’s aerospace industry, across multiple regions to offer the best solution for Canada’s future fighter,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Business Area Aeronautics. He further stated that, “Saab is committed to securing long-term relationships in Canada that will create a significant number of highly-skilled, sustainable jobs for Canadians within domestic and international supply chains.”

IMP Aerospace & Defence will contribute with in-country production and in-service support for the life of the Canadian Gripen fleet. CAE will provide training and mission systems solutions, while Peraton Canada will provide avionic and test equipment component maintenance, repair and overhaul, and material management. GE Aviation will provide and sustain the fighter’s engines in Canada.

Saab’s Gripen fighter meets all of Canada’s specific defence requirements, offering exceptional performance, advanced technical capabilities, future-proof upgradeability and NATO interoperability, claims Saab.

Canada’s 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 (RCAF)’s existing fleet of CF-18 fighter jets.

The formal Request for Proposals (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 list of eligible suppliers. On November 8, 2018, Dassault announced its decision to officially withdraw from the competition.

Canada has recently extended the earlier March 30 deadline to submit preliminary responses to RFPs issued for the project until June 30.

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.

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