The Canadian government has confirmed that it has disqualified Boeing’s bid for the CF-18 fleet replacement competition.
The details were given in a 1 December news release, to announce that following evaluation of the proposals submitted, only 2 bidders remain eligible under the $19-billion Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) competitive procurement process.
According to a recent news release, the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) agency leaves the Lockheed Martin F-35A Block 4 and Saab Gripen E fighters.
“Proposals were rigorously assessed on elements of capability, cost and economic benefits. The evaluation also included an assessment of economic impact,” said in a statement
It was also noted that the Government of Canada continues to work towards a contract award in 2022, with delivery of aircraft as early as 2025.
The American plane-maker Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter jets did not meet the federal government’s requirements, according to sources from industry and government.
While Boeing’s failure to meet the government’s requirements is surprising, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, it could also boost the government’s assertions that it is running a fair and unbiased competition to replace the CF-18s.
“It indicates it was genuinely a competitive procurement, which Canada had put an awful lot of effort into ensuring was the case,” he said.
Perry added: “There was a lot of speculation about whether a non-American fighter could actually be a real contender, given Canada’s requirements for interoperability with the United States. If they’re still in the mix, Saab has obviously met that mark.”
Yet Jeff Collins, an expert on military procurement at the University of Prince Edward Island, said there remain longstanding concerns in some corners that the entire competition has been set up from the beginning to select the F-35.