Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 12, 2006 11:28 ET

Canada's New Government Signs on to Phase III of Joint Strike Fighter Program and Secures Access to up to $8 Billion in Possible Contracts for Canadian Industry

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 12, 2006) - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence and the Honourable Maxime Bernier announced that Canada's aerospace and defence industry will have access to billions of dollars in industrial opportunities following the signature of Memorandum of Understandings regarding Canada's participation in Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

In a ceremony yesterday at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the Department of National Defence formalized their continued partnership with the United States Department of Defense in the JSF program. Canada is the second of eight partner nations to sign the MoU for the third phase of the JSF program - the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development phase.

"Our continued participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program affords Canada the unique opportunity to take advantage of the technological benefits and economic opportunities that come with that participation," said Minister O'Connor. "Our signing underscores Canada's commitment to the program and is indicative of our strength as a partner in defence."

Canada's participation in the JSF program will strengthen relationships and interoperability with our Allies, and will provide a number of benefits such as unique access to technical and operational data and royalties on third party sales. While participation in this next phase does not commit the Department to purchasing the multi-role aircraft, it is helping to define and evaluate DND's future requirements for the next generation of fighter aircraft to replace the CF-18 and its capabilities.

The Department of Industry also signed MoUs with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Pratt & Whitney and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team to provide Canada's aerospace and defence industry with access to up to $8 billion in industrial participation opportunities in the JSF Program.

"Canada's New Government is maximizing the opportunities the Joint Strike Fighter Program provides to Canadian businesses," said Minister Bernier. "This will consolidate the position of Canada's aerospace industry at the forefront of aerospace and defence technology now and well into the future."

These MOUs will attract investments, stimulate technology development, allow commercialization of innovative ideas, and bring high quality long-term business opportunities to Canada.

They relate to important aerospace technologies for Canada, such as major structural assemblies; landing gear maintenance; advanced composites; high-speed machining; simulation and training; propulsion; and health and monitoring technologies. The government will continue to identify new opportunities for Canada's aerospace industry as the program evolves over time.

"Canada's participation in the JSF Program has been a model for cooperation among government, industry and defence," said Tom Burbage, Executive Vice President and General Manager of F-35 Lightning II Program Integration for Lockheed Martin.

"Our government has worked hard to promote the interests of Canada's aerospace and defence industry on the world stage and is pleased to have secured opportunities to bid on important, lucrative contracts," continued Minister Bernier.

Peter Boag, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, welcomed the news. "Canada's continued investment in the JSF Program holds real promise for aerospace firms," said Boag. "The access this provides to advanced manufacturing processes using next generation materials will yield significant returns for Canada. Opportunities of this magnitude are rare - a direct outcome of the industry working cooperatively with the government to advance Canada's leadership role in aerospace technology."

The Joint Strike Fighter Program is a U.S.-led multinational effort to build an affordable, multi-role stealth fighter aircraft. International participants include the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Australia and Canada.

Canada has participated in the JSF Program since it began in 1997 by contributing to the Concept Demonstration Phase and, in 2002, by signing the System Demonstration and Development MOU.

To date 54 Canadian companies, universities and research institutions have won 154 JSF related contracts valued at approximately CDN $157 million, with the potential for additional opportunity and growth as we proceed with Phase III.

The JSF/F-35 will be the single largest fighter aircraft program of the first half of the twenty-first century, with a total estimated program value in excess of US$276 billion.

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