For the past ten years, Lockheed-Martin's F-35 Lighting II has won in all the competitions in which it has participated. If the conditions of these victories are often subject to discussion, it is nonetheless true that the American apparatus, despite its weaknesses and its many flaws, has always succeeded in convincing the officials in charge of choosing, for their respective countries, the device that will form the backbone of their air force for the next 50 years. Canada will probably be no exception to the rule, since after the withdrawal of Dassault Aviation and its Rafale, then Airbus DS with Eurofighter Typhoon, both believing that the competition as presented by Ottawa was biased in favor of the United States, it is the turn of Boeing and its F / A 18 E / F Super Hornet to have to leave the competition, this time on decision Canadian. (a little explanation is needed concerning the Super Hornet and the designation F / A-18 E / F: F / A means Fighter / Attack for fighter and attack aircraft, as for the E / F, they designate the single-seat (E) and two-seat (F) versions of the aircraft).
Indeed, according to unofficial information but corroborated by several sources, Ottawa would have judged that Boeing's offer did not meet the requirements of the specifications and Canadian requirements, without it being known whether the flagship embarked fighter of the US Navy had not met technological or operational requirements , or if it is a problem in the commercial offer carried by Boeing. There remains, therefore, in competition, the super favorite F-35A of Lockheed-Martin, and Saab's super challenger JAS 39 Gripen E / F, (E for single-seater, F for two-seater) which very few believe that it could have any chance against the American fighter, Canada being by nature intimately linked to the operational and technological requirements of its only neighbor for Air Defense of the North America, and in particular the Canadian Arctic border.
However, the fact that Boeing was fired, and not Saab, suggests that the Gripen would have met Canadian operational requirements, and that Saab's offer would have done the same. For the time being, none of the manufacturers in the running has received official notification from Ottawa, and therefore all are abstaining from the slightest declaration. But it would undoubtedly be a hard blow for Boeing, and for the future of its Super Hornet, while the US Navy wishes to cease acquisitions from 2023, and that possible export contracts, in Finland, in India, in Spain or Germany, are all threatened by competition from the F-35 or the Rafale M in the case of India. It is true that, in a way, Boeing finds the currency of its coin here, after having carried out intense lobbying actions against the regional transport planes of the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier in the United States, and this even if the file was closed in favor of Bombardier in 2018.
The rest of this article is for subscribers only
Full-access articles are available in the “ Free Items“. Subscribers have access to the full Analyses, OSINT and Synthesis articles. Articles in the Archives (more than 2 years old) are reserved for Premium subscribers.
From €6,50 per month – No time commitment.