The Government of Canada announced on January 9, 2023, it is procuring Lockheed Martin’s 5th Generation F-35A Lightning II aircraft as a result of the Future Fighter Capability Project competition.
The Royal Canadian Air Force will receive 88 F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighters, a sustainment solution tailored to Canada’s sovereign requirements and a comprehensive training program.
«Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II», said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office. «The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power-projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict».
«We are honored the Government of Canada has selected the F-35A Lightning II, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft», said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II program. «The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world».
The F-35 Lightning II strengthens Canada’s operational capability with its allies as a cornerstone for interoperability with NORAD and NATO. As a critical node in the 21st Century Security mission space, the F-35 Lightning II gives pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe.
«Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills», said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. «The F-35 program yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth».
To date, the F-35 Lightning II operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 890 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.