ARCHIVED - "Canada First" Defence Procurement - Medium-to Heavy-Lift Helicopters

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News Release / June 28, 2006 / Project number: NR–06.032

EDMONTON – Minister of National Defence Gordon O’Connor and Minister of Public Works and Government Services Michael Fortier, along with Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier today announced an estimated $4.7 billion project to acquire a fleet of 15 medium-to heavy-lift helicopters. This purchase not only delivers on the Government of Canada’s commitment to strengthening Canada’s military, it also reinstates a vital capability that aircrews and soldiers have done without for over a decade.

“This Government’s new Canada First Defence Strategy promises to rebuild the Canadian Forces which had been under funded, undermanned and under-equipped for more than a decade,” said Minister O'Connor. “Mobility is an essential capability that the men and women of the Canadian Forces need to get the job done.”

“Emergency response personnel work side by side with the Canadian Forces in the event of natural or man-made disasters,” said Minister Day. "These helicopters will mean quicker responses to emergencies throughout Canada and will help protect Canadians at home and abroad while enhancing our capacity to better cooperate with our allies in the fight against terrorism."

“These helicopters will be a valuable addition to the Canadian Forces,” said General Hillier. “This new capability will allow our troops to deploy into isolated areas in effective numbers, without relying on our allies.”

The medium-to heavy-lift helicopters will be procured through a competitive process known as an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) which identifies the Government’s intention to contract with a specific supplier and also gives all potential suppliers the opportunity to demonstrate that they also can meet the Canadian Forces’ mandatory capabilities for this helicopter. If no valid statement of capabilities is received then the process is deemed to be competitive. If a valid statement of capabilities is received then a fully competitive process will be run.

The estimated total project cost for this aircraft acquisition is $2 billion, plus an estimated contract value of $2.7 billion for 20 years of in-service support – a contract to be competed by the winning contractor, with work largely to be done in Canada.

Benefits for Canadian industry will be substantial with the selected contractor required to provide full economic benefits. This means that for every contract dollar awarded, the contractor will commit a corresponding dollar in economic activity in Canada. 

Additionally, the helicopters will be serviced in Canada as part of a 20-year, in-service support program.  The government will ensure mechanical support is provided in Canada by Canadian mechanics and contractors. 

The government understands the importance of getting the right tools, for the right job, for the right amount of money.

The Canadian Forces do not currently have a military helicopter to fulfil this role and to date rely on allied or coalition forces to provide this type of transport while deployed.

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For more information please read the Medium-to Heavy-Lift Helicopter backgrounder.

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