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Canada Announces Procurement of F-35 Lightning II

F-35A demo team during the 2021 Canadian International Air Show [US Air Force: SSgt Thomas Barley]

RCAF Future Fighter Capability Project: Canada announces the procurement of Lockheed Martin’s 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II.

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Press Release, Fort Worth, 09 January 2023: The Government of Canada announced today it is procuring Lockheed Martin’s 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II aircraft as a result of the Future Fighter Capability Project competition. The Royal Canadian Air Force will receive 88 F-35A multirole stealth fighters, a sustainment solution tailored to Canada’s sovereign requirements and a comprehensive training programme.

“Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II,” said US Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, programme executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office. “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power-projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.”

“We are honoured the Government of Canada has selected the F-35, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 programme. “The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world.”

The F-35 strengthens Canada’s operational capability with its allies as a cornerstone for interoperability with NORAD and NATO. As a critical node in the 21st Century Security mission space, the F-35 gives pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe.

“Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills,” said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. “The F-35 programme yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth.”

To date, the F-35 operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 890 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.

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