Archived — Government of Canada Invests in R&D Technology for Joint Strike Fighter Program

Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 2, 2008 — The Honourable Vic Toews, Member of Parliament for Provencher (Manitoba), on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, today announced support for a research and development (R&D) project that will sustain Canada's participation in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The project, undertaken by Bristol Aerospace Limited — a division of Magellan Aerospace Limited of Mississauga, Ontario — will create and maintain highly skilled jobs in Canada, while contributing to an aerospace composite centre of excellence in Winnipeg.

"Prime Minister Harper and the government are working hard to maximize business opportunities available to Canadian companies under the JSF program," said MP Toews. "This project will build on Canada's strength in the manufacturing of advanced composites and supports our commitment to an international defence effort."

The R&D project, with an estimated total cost of up to $120 million, will develop new processes for composite manufacturing and complex assemblies that incorporate both composite and metallic components. The Government of Canada will be contributing a repayable $43.4-million investment towards the project.

This complicated and innovative technology will provide unparalleled strength to the wing and tail of the F-35 aircraft. The company will receive substantial technical and collaborative support from industry and academia to achieve higher tolerances than previously seen on military or civilian platforms.

"This investment allows Bristol to actively participate in achieving the technical demands required for the development of the world's most advanced fighter aircraft," said Jim Butyniec, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace Corporation. "Our partnership with the Government of Canada supports next-generation composite manufacturing that will prove to be the catalyst for future programs."

"Winnipeg's Composites Innovation Centre is pleased to collaborate in the research and development needed for this international program," said Sean McKay, Executive Director of the Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba Inc. "This project builds on Canada's strength as a recognized leader in aviation composites and stimulates economic growth in Winnipeg and Western Canada."

This investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), which supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries. SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a special operating agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.

The Government of Canada's participation in the JSF program makes it eligible to benefit from preferential conditions and advantages reserved for JSF partners; however, this participation does not commit it to purchase the aircraft.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Bill Rodgers
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounders

Government of Canada Invests in R&D Technology for Joint Strike Fighter Program

The Government of Canada is investing $43.4-million in Bristol Aerospace Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a research and development manufacturing technologies project. The project will focus on developing composite technologies for the multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The JSF program is a U.S.-led multinational effort to build an affordable, multi-role, fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. In February 2002, the Government of Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of Defense, signalling the beginning of Canadian participation in the JSF program and providing the Canadian aerospace industry with access to the largest international defence contract ever awarded. Through this involvement, Bristol has secured business opportunities during the pre-production phase of the F-35 aircraft.

The work Bristol is undertaking will generate many technological and long-term economic benefits for Canadians. An extensive amount of collaboration will occur with industry and research institutions, including Winnipeg's Composites Innovation Centre. This project will support a supply chain of Canadian companies, through direct and indirect relationships. The resulting jobs will be high-technology and knowledge-based focused, with a long-term project life span of 20 years or more.

The project's real value lies in expanding Canada's existing strength in aerospace and defence manufacturing technologies through the leading-edge, highly automated, precision composite and metallic technologies assemblies. The resulting expertise in advanced composite materials will strengthen Winnipeg's position as an aerospace composite centre of excellence. This proficiency can be leveraged to secure future aerospace development work across commercial, defence and space sectors.

The Winnipeg region, home to the largest aerospace industry in Western Canada, is the third largest provider of aerospace goods and services in the country. Manitoba's aerospace industry boasts revenues in excess of $1 billion annually and directly employs over 4000 people.

Bristol Aerospace Limited employs 650 people and is the largest division of the Magellan Aerospace group of companies, which employs 3,700 in operating divisions throughout North America and the United Kingdom.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI)

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development (R&D) projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries.

Launched on April 2, 2007, this new initiative was developed with three key objectives in mind:

  1. to encourage strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services;
  2. to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian A&D companies; and
  3. to foster collaboration among research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector.

By investing in strategic R&D projects, SADI contributes to the development of technologies that focus on next-generation products or services, build on Canadian strengths, and enable Canadian companies to participate in major platforms.

SADI is administered with high standards of transparency and accountability by the Industrial Technologies Office. All project applications undergo extensive evaluation using a clear and rigorous process with published assessment criteria. These criteria include the company's ability to achieve the stated objectives, the project's technology benefits, and the expected social and economic benefits.

All Canadians receive value from SADI's contributions through the technological and economic benefits that result from supported R&D projects. These benefits include spinoffs in diverse sectors of the economy, such as nanotechnology and information technology, as well as the development of collaborative partnerships with universities, colleges and research institutions. Contributions to R&D made through SADI will also contribute to high-quality employment opportunities, strengthen Canada's workforce with talented scientists, engineers and researchers, and leverage private sector investments in R&D.

Canada's A&D industries are recognized around the world for producing leading-edge products and services. Domestically, these industries are important economic drivers in all regions of the country and are collectively significant players in the development of Canada's knowledge-based economy. Among the world leaders, Canada's A&D industries offer competitive and innovative solutions and are backed by a highly skilled workforce.

The Industrial Technologies Office is a Special Operating Agency of Industry Canada, with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.

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