Possible cut in US F 35 orders 'key' concern for aerospace industry

Internal federal assessment sees concern over Canadian aerospace companies losing business from F-35 program

February 8, 2013
by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—There’s worry in the federal bureaucracy about whether Canadian aerospace companies will get all the business expected from the oft-maligned F-35 program. That’s according to an internal federal assessment.

The concern is that the project will face substantial cuts in the US, which would affect suppliers world-wide, including 72 Canadian companies that have US$438 million in contracts to date. A newly released analysis from last summer for Industry Minister Christian Paradis calls the potential cuts a “key risk” for Canadian industrial participation.

The U.S. is facing what may be massive defence cuts if lawmakers in Washington cannot agree on deficit-fighting plans, and the long overdue F-35 program is a huge target. The Harper government initially estimated that aerospace companies in this country could reap as much as $12 billion in contracts over the life of the aircraft, but revised it downward to between $9.3 billion and $9.7 billion.