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Canada’s Role in the F-35 Global Supply Chain

As a partner on the F-35 Lightning II program, Canadian industry is already contributing to the production of the F-35 and, in turn, the F-35 is contributing to the Canadian aerospace industry by developing indigenous capabilities and bringing new manufacturing and engineering technologies to the country.

The Lockheed Martin industrial participation plan contains $750 million in F-35 contracts with total production opportunities worth more than $11 billion, not including sustainment work. Canadian industry participation includes:

  • More than 110 Canadian companies have participated in the development and production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • More than 80 Canadian companies are working on this program today.
  • According to projections based on the Statistics Canada model, the program will support more than 50,000 jobs throughout production
  • It provides more than 30 years of aerospace industrial work and creates enduring industrial relationships throughout the world.

The financial benefits to Canadian aerospace and defence companies are projected to far exceed Canada's cost of procuring the F-35 Lightning II. Industrial participation opportunities are estimated at nearly $12 billion. To date the program has identified nearly 200 projects with more than $750 million already contracted – more than double Canada’s current investment in the F-35 program. Lockheed Martin and the F-35 will continue to bring manufacturing and production opportunities to Canada, ensuring the domestic technology industry remains globally competitive for decades to come.

Canada's participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program began in 1997, allowing the nation to participate in the selection of the fighter aircraft that will recapitalize three U.S. fighter fleets as well as numerous allied countries. Even prior to Canada’s decision to become a program partner in 2002, Canadian industry was actively involved in the JSF project. Domestic industry continues to benefit from the development of the F-35 through the localized establishment of advanced manufacturing technologies.

The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant is the best value solution for replacing the CF-18 fleet. The F-35 is a stealthy 5th Generation fighter for the U.S. Air Force and strong allies including the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Japan and Korea. With air forces across the globe flying the same aircraft, allies can take advantage of advanced fighter technologies and inherent interoperability while leveraging economies of scale to enhance affordability.

In 2013, the U.S. Air Force began F-35A pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base and operational test and evaluation began at Edwards and Nellis Air Force Bases. In 2015, the U.S. Marine Corps declared initial operational capability (IOC) which means their F-35s are ready to go into combat if needed. This program continues to mature and by the end of the decade more than 650 jets will be flying.