On July 30, the U.S government submitted the Request for Proposal (RFP) response for the Lockheed Martin built F-35 Lightning II to Canada in support of their Future Fighter Capability Project.
Canada has been a valued partner since the inception of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) competition. Canadian industry plays an integral role in the global F-35 Lightning II supply chain and has gained significant technical expertise over the past 15-plus year involvement in the F-35 Lightning II production.
«We are extremely proud of our longstanding partnership with Canada, which has played a key role in the F-35’s development», said Greg Ulmer, F-35 Lightning II Program executive vice president. «The 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II would transform the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet and deliver the capabilities necessary to safeguard Canadian skies. The F-35’s unique mix of stealth and sensor technology will enable the Royal Canadian Air Force to modernize their contribution to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) operations, ensure Arctic sovereignty and meet increasingly sophisticated global threats».
The program will continue to bring manufacturing and production opportunities to Canada, with an estimated 150,000 jobs supported over the life of the program. The F-35 Lightning II program connects Canadian industry to a global supply chain supporting a growing fleet that will deliver more than 3,200 aircraft and delivers sustainment well past 2060.
To date, the F-35 Lightning II operates from 24 bases worldwide. More than 1,040 pilots and over 9,340 maintainers are trained. Nine nations operate the F-35 Lightning II from their home soil and six services have employed F-35s in combat operations.