The Government's participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program brings significant benefits to Canada. As a global program, it positions Canadian industry at the start of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar program with an international market. Further, the government's long-term investment in this aircraft development program provides Canada's aerospace and defence industries with an unprecedented opportunity to be a part of the JSF global supply chain, advancing their technologies, while bringing jobs and sustained economic benefits to regions across Canada.
Canada joined the JSF program under the previous Government in 1997, in anticipation of the need for the Canadian Forces to replace its current fleet of CF-18s, which will reach the end of its operational life in the 2017-20 timeframe.
The development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the largest cooperative program of its kind since World War II. This United States-led partnership includes Canada, Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom. As a partner nation, Canada is in a position to secure high-value work on the JSF program.Industrial Participation
Since 1997, Canada has been involved in the development, design and initial production phases of the JSF program. In 2006, the Government of Canada signed the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). In this MOU, the partners agreed to implement a best-value approach to maximize industrial benefits and the affordability of the JSF program for partner countries.
Because Canada is a member country, Canadian companies are among those eligible to bid on the work packages that flow from this project. Canadian companies must offer competitive technologies at competitive prices to be successful on the JSF program.
Industry Canada has signed industrial participation plans with each of the JSF prime contractors (Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the General Electric Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team). These industrial participation plans meet the Government of Canada's objective of encouraging foreign industry to establish long-term relationships with Canadian industry. Industry Canada continues to work cooperatively with National Defence to identify and pursue opportunities with JSF prime contractors.
In addition to providing access to competitive opportunities, the industrial participation plans identify strategic industrial opportunities for Canada that build on Canadian strengths in the areas of landing gear maintenance, composite manufacturing, hard metals machining and complex structure assembly.Benefits to Canada
To date, Canada has made payments of approximately $168 million to the JSF program; and, since 2002, this investment has led to more than $350 million in contracts with more than 60 Canadian companies, research laboratories and universities. Canada has already seen a two-to-one return on its investment.
This program provides Canada with an unprecedented opportunity for long-term and high quality work in the aerospace and defence sectors. Partner nation acquisitions of the aircraft are expected to exceed 3000 units, and overall production could exceed 5,000 aircraft worldwide as other non-partner countries replace their aging fighter fleets. Canadian industrial participation in the JSF program is not limited to the work associated with the 65 Canadian aircraft; Canadian companies will contribute to the manufacture and service of thousands of aircraft.
The work packages available for Canadian companies will include not only the manufacturing and assembly of parts but also servicing, repair, simulation and training, in addition to numerous other sustainment activities over a 40-year period. Early estimates show that the opportunities available to Canada on production could total $12 billion through these industrial participation plans. Further opportunities from training, simulation and maintenance will add to this figure as the industrial benefits from the JSF program continue to flow to Canadian companies throughout the operational lifespan of the worldwide fleet.
The contract awarded to Bristol Aerospace Ltd. for manufacturing complex composite assemblies for the F-35's tail is valued at approximately $11 million. In 2008, the company received $43.4 million in repayable Federal support to help it develop new manufacturing and assembly processes necessary to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter Program. This represents a significant opportunity for Bristol that could see hundreds of millions of dollars of work in this new facility as the JSF program moves into full production in the years to come.