UK MoD and Airbus withdraw from Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project

The Eurofighter Typhoon is officially out of the competition to replace the old Canadian Hornet fighter jets.

Airbus withdraw Canada Fighter Capability Project
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets.

On 30 August 2019, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) and Airbus Defence and Space annunced their decision to withdraw from Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). The decision is the result of a detailed review of the Request for Proposal (RFP), following its release on 23 July 2019.

The Airbus' press release says that after careful analysis of the input from the draft as well as the final RFP, two factors have led to the Typhoon Canada campaign team’s decision to withdraw from the project: First, a detailed review has led the parties to conclude that NORAD security requirements continue to place too significant of a cost on platforms whose manufacture and repair chains sit outside the United States-Canada 2-EYES community. Second, both parties concluded that the significant recent revision of industrial technological benefits (ITB) obligations does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make, and which were one of its major points of focus.

Airbus's withdrawal from the Canadian competition follows that of the French aerospace company Dassault who last year decided not to continue to promote the Rafale aircraft in Canada.

According to some media, the requirements for new jets mainly focus on strategic attack and the ability to hit ground targets during foreign missions. These criteria are mostly met by the F-35. Furthermore, the Canadian federal government changed the criteria for assessing industrial benefits after the US government threatened to withdraw the F-35 from the deal.

The decision of Airbus and Dassault gives more chances to the other candidates, the Swedish Saab Gripen E and the Americans Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing F-18E/F Super Hornet. Saab remains the only European company to continue in the competition.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Corporal Gary Calvé

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