Canada closed an agreement with the United States Government on Monday to acquire F-35 fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Canada has committed to acquiring a new fleet of 88 advanced combat aircraft for the RCAF. The federal government announced that the new fleet would be made up of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft.
The first deliveries of these aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2026, with full operational capability with the entire fleet expected to be achieved between 2032 and 2034.
The Royal Canadian Air Force has received its highest funding increase in 30 years. Construction of the fighter squadron buildings in Bagotville and Cold Lake, as well as the supporting equipment and maintenance facility and services, is expected to cost around $19 billion.
As the rules-based international order is called into question worldwide, the F-35 will be essential to protect Canadians, enhance Arctic security and national sovereignty, and enable Canada to meet its obligations to NATO, NORAD, and other agencies in the future.
When it comes to the safety of its citizens, the Canadian government will not rest until it has provided the Canadian Armed Forces with the tools they require to accomplish their tasks effectively.
The Canadian government believes the F-35 is the greatest combat fighter at the best price. The US Government and Lockheed Martin, alongside Pratt & Whitney, demonstrated that an F-35 fighter purchase agreement matches Canadian requirements and results, including cost-effectiveness, flexibility, risk protection, performance, and delivery guarantees, throughout the final phase of procurement.
The announcement is also good news for Canadian businesses and employees in the aerospace and defense industries.
The F-35 program has the potential to add about $425 million per year to Canada’s GDP and over $3 billion per year to the GDP of the United States through its acquisition and initial maintenance.
In addition, significant investments will be made in the renovation of National Defense infrastructures at several bases in Canada, which will include many Canadian construction and maintenance companies.
Maintaining the Canadian fleet presents a sizable opportunity for the Canadian manufacturing sector. Airframe, engine depots, training, and component maintenance are predicted to be fertile ground for business throughout the fleet’s lifespan.
This important agreement will provide the most modern and advanced equipment and guarantee the country’s protection for years to come.
“This is an important milestone in the Royal Canadian Air Force’s significant modern fighter procurement process and an example of open, fair, and transparent competitive procurement.
“Canadians are proud of their military, and it is more vital than ever to guarantee that those who serve our country have the right equipment to keep Canada safe and secure while supporting aerospace and defense,” said Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Public Procurement.
Canada needs an adaptable military that quickly responds to changing circumstances in today’s unpredictable world. We are devoted to providing all Airmen, present and future, with the most cutting-edge tools available to carry out their missions successfully.
Canada needs a fighter fleet that will help keep Canadians safe and protect sovereignty over one of the largest expanses of airspace in the world.
This news has us soaring: the F-35 is officially Canada’s future fighter aircraft! These jets will provide us with the capabilities, technology, interoperability, and weapons we need to meet our commitments and counter future defence threats. https://t.co/61bQJKw2M7#WellEquipped pic.twitter.com/wkDjmWmROe
— National Defence (@NationalDefence) January 9, 2023
“We are pleased to announce that the F-35 has been chosen as Canada’s next generation of fighter aircraft,” said Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of National Defense.