Saab has made the official offer to Canada for the procurement of Gripen E fighters as a response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) in July last year. The proposal comprises of 88 Gripen E fighter aircraft, with a comprehensive support and training package and an industrial and technological benefits programme.
Gripen has been deemed as the fighter that makes sense for Canada due to its ability to operate in austere weather, integrate non-Saab equipment, interoperability in the NORAD context, among others. Gripen, featuring short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities, can operate from dispersed airbases even during the severe winters.
"Saab's Gripen fighter is designed to operate in harsh environments and defeat the most advanced global threats. A unique element of the avionics design is that Gripen E's system can be updated quickly, maintaining technological superiority against any adversary," says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics. "With Saab and Gripen, the Royal Canadian Air Force will have full control of its fighter system. A guarantee to share key technology, in-country production, support, and through-life enhancements will ensure that Canada's sovereignty is enhanced for decades," he adds.
Saab had announced a 'Gripen for Canada Team' comprising of leading Canadian aerospace companies IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation, earlier this year. With Gripen for Canada Team, Saab intends to create a number of sustainable jobs in the country.
Besides Gripen, Lockheed Martin's F-35 and Boeing's Super hornet are competing for a spot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The 88 fighters will ultimately replace the air force's aging fleet of CF-18.