While the West’s fighter manufacturers are not expecting an outcome to the government’s deliberations on the Future Fighter Capability requirement any time soon, they are here at CANSEC to remind attendees of their products. Canada’s next Fighter aircraft will be one of the largest national defence programmes of recent times, and there is much at stake for international bidders and local companies.
Canada remains an industrial partner in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and a number of exhibitors are referencing the part they play in the aircraft’s production at the show. Not least of which is the OEM itself, Lockheed Martin, which is displaying a model of the aircraft in Canadian colours on its stand. The JSF team is fresh from securing the recommendation of the Danish government to procure 27 F-35As, although there is still a final parliamentary approval to be overcome.
Meanwhile, other bidders are anticipating a reopening of the competition. The Dassault Rafale (on the Thales stand) and Eurofighter Typhoon (at Airbus) are on display here in model form, as is the Boeing Super Hornet. The St Louis fighter manufacturer has also brought its popular mobile simulator to the show.
Sweden’s Saab had earlier decided to back out of the competition in Canada, but at the recent roll-out of the new Gripen E, senior officials noted that they may re-evaluate their position in the light of a new procurement environment, and the aircraft is being promoted at CANSEC.
The new version of the Gripen offers extra range and weapons-carrying capability, as well as state-of- the-art systems.