The Government of Canada is officially asking for bids from four companies to supply a fleet of fighter jet planes for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The requested 88 Fighter Jets are meant to replace the Air Force’s aging CF-18s, which have been in active service since 1984.

Multiple federal governments have begun work to replace the older jets, but the project has been stalled by years of start-and-stop bureaucracy.  The current liberal government launch the current process back in 2016, and has been ironing out the details for almost three years.

The four companies – Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Saab – have until autumn of this year to demonstrate that they can meet the security requirements and the interoperability necessary to work cohesively with NATO forces and other allies.  The companies then have until 2020 to make their initial proposal.

While making the announcement, the federal government was pointed to say that bidders would have to prove that their plans would invest the eventual contact’s value in economic benefits for the country.

A winning bid will be chosen in 2022, with the first jets entering service in 2025.

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