Canada has asked Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Saab and Airbus to submit bids to supply 88 combat aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of CF-18 fighters for an estimated $14.5 billion (C$19 billion).
On Tuesday, Ottawa released its formal request for proposals (RFPs) to buy advanced fighters. The announcement invites the four companies to compete to bag the contract.
Interested bidders have until spring of 2020 to submit their initial proposals to replace the 76 old jets which have been in service for over 35 years.
The plan is to then cut the competition down to two bids, with a winner selected in 2022 and the delivery of the first aircraft expected to take place “as early as 2025.”
The formal requirements say all proposals will be assessed on a points system that awards 60 per cent for technical merit, 20 per cent for cost and 20 per cent for industrial benefits.
The country initially drew up a plan to acquire 65 Lockheed F-35 stealth jets by 2020. The plan was scrapped after it met with criticism over costs, the lack of public competition for the work and the fact that they are single-engine fighters.