The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (U.K. MoD) and Airbus Defence and Space officially withdrew their Eurofighter Typhoon from Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) last Friday. In the wake of the decision, both U.K. MoD and Airbus emphasized their continued commitment to Canada’s government, armed forces and aerospace sector. Airbus complimented the FFCP team’s transparency and professionalism, but cited stipulations laid out in the FFCP Request for Proposal released on July 23 as the reason for its withdrawal.
“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,” Airbus said in a statement. “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.”
First announced in June 2017, the FFCP aims to “permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets.” Companies still competing for the contract include Saab, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Dassault was among the original project participants but withdrew in November 2018. FFCP proposals are due by early 2020, with a contract award expected by 2022. To shore up its fighter fleet while it waits for its new combat aircraft, the Canadian government entered into an agreement with the government of Australia to purchase 18 F/A-18s, the first of which arrived in February 2019.