F-35: Ottawa pressé par les industriels canadiens de passer outre la compétition

Le F-35 Joint Strike Fighter a commencé la phase d'intégration des systèmes d’armement (Photo: Lockheed Martin, Matthew Court)
Le F-35 Lightning II. (Archives/Matthew Court/Lockheed Martin)

Les entreprises canadiennes qui participent au programme de l’avion de chasse F-35 exhortent le gouvernement fédéral à contourner la processus de compétition et à revenir au plan initial qui consiste à acheter l’avion de l’américain Lockheed Martin.

Dans une lettre ouverte, le groupe d’entreprises prenant part au programme JSF de Lockeed Martin, indique que l’«utilisation d’une concurrence pour simplement retarder la prise de décision est coûteuse, inutile et pas dans l’intérêt des contribuables canadiens ou de l’industrie canadienne. C’est de la mauvaise gestion, de la mauvaise politique et c’est mauvais pour les affaires».

Pour ces entreprises canadiennes il y a beaucoup «d’informations inexactes et de la rhétorique» derrière les appels à un appel d’offres. Des centaines de millions de dollars de contrats seraient en jeu si le Canada ne procède pas selon son plan initial d’acheter l’avion de Lockheed Martin.

«À court terme, la réalité est que les contrats du F-35 et les emplois canadiens actuels vont très bientôt commencer à aller vers les pays qui, aujourd’hui, achètent l’avion», a indiqué le groupe dans sa lettre ouverte.

Lettre ouverte des entreprises canadiennes participant au F-35

There has been a great deal of inaccurate information and rhetoric in the news recently about the benefits of a competition for a new fighter aircraft to replace Canada’s aging, and ever-increasingly more expensive to maintain and operate, fleet of CF-18’s. We believe it’s time that Canadian industry – in this case the Canadian JSF Industry Group – weighed in on this topic.
Although competition makes for good sound bites, the reality is it has serious economic consequences.

From a business perspective, the short term reality is that current Canadian F-35 contracts and jobs will very soon start going to countries that are today buying the aircraft. The decision delays to this point have already cost Canadian companies 100’s of millions of dollars in new opportunities. Soon Lockheed Martin may need to secure second sources for components currently built by Canadian suppliers if there is a belief Canada does not intend to buy the F-35. Our leverage is already fading with new purchases of the airplane around the globe.

The reality is that any delay in the purchase of the new fighter will have real consequences for Canadian industry. A new competition is a costly exercise in terms of personnel, resources and life extension for the existing fleet. As a partner in the F-35 Program since 2001, Canada is already guaranteed the lowest possible price for the aircraft and while the F-35 is just beginning its production run, the alternatives are ending their production. This is about making a good business decision not just conducting a competition – using a competition to simply delay making a decision is costly, unnecessary and not in the interests of Canadian taxpayers or Canadian industry.

That is bad management, bad policy and bad for business.

The Government of Canada has recently made two very good decisions for which they should be applauded. The first was to appoint a New Fighter Procurement Secretariat to oversee a rigorous Seven-Point Plan to exhaustively examine their Next Generation Fighter Procurement Options to replace the CF-18, and the second was to implement a new, more effective Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS).

The Seven-Point Plan work has now been completed and the final reports delivered. The soundly-formulated DPS has been rolled out across the country with 3 key fundamental objectives that have been virtually universally welcomed:- Streamlining the Defence Procurement Process; Buying the right equipment in a timely manner; and, Leveraging our purchases of defence equipment to create jobs & economic growth in Canada.

The Government now has the opportunity to clearly demonstrate that the key fundamentals of this new Defence Procurement Strategy will be the pre-eminent principles that will drive their decisions and make the right decision – now – that will guarantee all of the economic benefits the F-35 Program will generate across Canada.

It is difficult to envisage a major procurement that could be better aligned with the goals and objectives of the new DPS, or a Value Proposition that would receive higher ratings: – the technology that has been transferred to, and developed by, our member companies, as a result of the F-35 Program, is leading-edge, innovative, second-to-none, and is positioning Canadian aerospace companies to be globally competitive for decades to come; Production contracts on the program of record will run through 2039; this is real economic benefit – now – 1000’s of high-paying aerospace jobs, 100’s of millions of R&D, technology development, investment and on-going contracts.

Let’s not put all of this at risk! This should not be about politics. It should be about our national capability and determining what is best for the country.

The F-35 has won every competitive process it has been in:- US & 8 MOU Partner Nations – ‘Battle of the X-Planes’ (2001); Japan (2012); Israel (2012); Netherlands (2013); & Korea(2014). Canada has a long history of delaying defence procurement:- resulting in fleets that become difficult and very costly to maintain; preventing essential new equipment from being delivered to our men and women in uniform when they need it to perform the missions Canada asks of them; costing untold amount of taxpayer dollars in delays; and, damaging our reputation on the world stage.

A ‘competition’ will take 3 years to run and the only significant outcome will be hundreds of millions of dollars of more lost opportunities for companies across Canada.

Finally, we should not forget the benefits that the F-35 program has already brought to Canada since 2001 thanks to the good faith approach of Lockheed Martin and the 3 other principal partners – BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Pratt & Whitney. Contracts from these global aerospace leaders now exceed $600M to Canadian companies and represent $11 billion in total opportunities and 53,000 person-years of high-value aerospace jobs through 2039, with far more to follow throughout the In-Service Support phase.

Canadian JSF Industry Group

The Canadian JSF Industry Group, or CJIG, represents over 35 Canadian companies from coast-to-coast that are currently performing work in the production phase of the F-35 JSF Program. This work ranges from avionics, software, & control systems, to advanced composite, metallic, & machined component & tooling design & manufacturing, and represents high value, innovative technology transfer, hundreds of millions of R&D investment dollars, intellectual property ownership and control, access to global value chains, and 1000’s of well-paying aerospace jobs in an industry with an 8.7:1 direct to indirect job creation ratio.

Fondateur de 45eNord.ca, Nicolas est passionné par la «chose militaire». Il suit les Forces armées canadiennes lors d'exercices ou d'opérations, au plus près de l'action. #OpNANOOK #OpATTENTION #OpHAMLET #OpREASSURANCE #OpUNIFIER #OpIMPACT #OpLENTUS

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