ARCHIVED - “Canada First” Defence Procurement - New Strategic and Tactical Airlift Fleets

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News Release / June 29, 2006 / Project number: NR–06.033

TRENTON – Minister of National Defence Gordon O’Connor and Minister of Public Works and Government Services Michael Fortier, along with Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier and Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier today announced the plan to acquire four new strategic lift aircraft and 17 new tactical lift aircraft at an estimated total cost of $8.3 billion. This investment addresses the need to revitalize the Canadian Forces’ airlift capabilities and is the most significant military investment in over a decade.

“For thirteen years, the former Liberal government ignored the needs of the Canadian Forces," said Minister O'Connor. “Renewal of the Canadian Forces’ tactical airlift fleet has long been a military priority and a priority for this Government. Further, a strategic airlift capability fulfils a top NATO requirement and shows that Canada is taking a leadership role among its allies.”

“The procurement process will be fair, open, transparent and in line with this government's Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan,” said Minister Fortier. “A rigorous procurement process has been put in place to ensure that the equipment meets the needs of the men and women of the Canadian Forces while making sure that Canadian taxpayers get the best value for their hard earned money.”

“The Government will negotiate a specific industrial benefits package for this project,” said Minister Bernier. “We expect contractors to deliver one dollar in high-quality economic activity in Canada for every dollar they are awarded as part of this project. This economic benefits package will mean billions in long-term business activity in Canada.”

“I am delighted that the urgent priority to replace the rapidly aging Hercules fleet has been realized with this announcement,” said General Hillier. “Gaining a strategic airlift capability to complement our tactical airlift requirement will ensure we can quickly deploy our equipment and personnel without relying on our allies or contractors which is a huge benefit to the Canadian Forces and to Canadians.”

DND will procure four strategic lift aircraft to provide rapid transport of large amounts of passengers and equipment over long distances, including Canada’s disaster assistance response capability (DART). The acquisition of these aircraft will be conducted 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 strategic airlift. 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 strategic lift aircraft acquisition is $1.8 billion, plus an estimated contract value of $1.6 billion for 20 years of in-service support - a contract that will be dependant on the outcome of the ACAN process.

“The procurement of the tactical lift aircraft fleet will be conducted through a solicitation of interest and qualification, which invites all potential suppliers to indicate their interest and demonstrate their ability to meet mandatory requirements,” said Minister Fortier.

The estimated total project cost for the tactical airlift component is $3.2 billion, plus an estimated contract value of $1.7 billion for 20 years of in-service support to be carried out by Canadian industry. Tactical airlift, the lifeline of deployed Canadian Forces members, will transport equipment, troops and supplies within Canada and on overseas operations.

Benefits for Canadian industry will be considerable as both acquisitions require contractors 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.

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For more information please read the Strategic and Tactical Airlift backgrounders available at:

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