“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication in reaching this important milestone in the fighter fleet procurement process,” Anand said.
The Canadian government received one proposal from Sweden and two from the United States, according to the statement.
US bids are represented by defence giants Lockheed Martin Corporation and The Boeing Company.
In its proposal Lockheed Martin intends to partner with Pratt & Whitney, while the Boeing consortium includes, Peraton Canada Corp., CAE Inc., L3 Technologies MAS Inc., GE Canada and Raytheon Canada Limited Services and Support Division
The Swedish bid is led by SAAB AB.
“Through our fully costed and funded defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government committed to purchasing a full fleet of 88 aircraft to be able to meet our NORAD and NATO obligations simultaneously,” Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said.
Canada’s procurement service said that bids will be evaluated on the following rubric: capability (60%), cost (20%) and economic benefits (20%).
The effort to replace Canada’s aging fighter jet fleet has dragged on for decades with successive governments failing to honor the Royal Canadian Air Forces’ request for new aircraft.
Under the government of Stephen Harper, Canada became one of a host of countries to enter negotiations on the purchase of F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter-bomber from Lockheed Martin.
Ultimately, the F-35 program incurred major setbacks, including ballooning costs and delayed delivery, which became a lightning rod for controversy in Canada.
Incumbent Prime Minister Justin included rescindment of the deal in his campaign platform during the federal election of 2015.
The F-35 contract with Lockheed Martin was scrapped in 2016, with Canada having to pay exuberant cancellation fees and a number of Canadian suppliers to the development of the F-35 being excluded from the project.
The initial evaluation of the proposal is expected to be completed by 2021, with the contract likely to be awarded in 2022. According to reports, the expected cost of the purchase is between $11.2 billion and $14.2 billion.
Delivery of the first aircraft is expected as early as 2025.