Airbus says it can’t afford to meet the bid requirements to supply the RCAF’s new fighter jets so it is withdrawing from the bid process. Airbus, which was offering its Typhoon, said the cost of modifying the plane to conform to NORAD communications and security requirements is too high. It also had issues with the industrial benefits requirements that went along with the bid. There are now only three aircraft in the running; the Lockheed Martin F-35, the Boeing F/A Super Hornet and a modified version of the Saab Gripen.
The bid requirements were changed at the last minute to accommodate the F-35, which is operating as a cooperative industrial development project that allows Canadian companies to bid on subassembly and systems work but doesn’t guarantee they’ll get the work. At one point Airbus said it would assemble Typhoons in Quebec if it won the bid. Simon Jacques, president of Airbus Defence and Space Canada, said in a statement the revised industrial benefits regime “does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make.”