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F-35 offers unprecedented opportunities for Quebec aerospace

March 14, 2011, Montreal - In light of the recent developments regarding the acquisition of the 5th generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet, Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, reiterates its support in regards to the acquisition of this aircraft by the Department of National Defence ofCanada.


March 14, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

As a strategic think tank whose mission is to optimize the competitiveness and growth of Québec's aerospace industry, we want to again emphasize the importance of the unprecedented opportunities and benefits the F-35 program offers for the entire Québec aerospace industry.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is a key program in which the industry has been heavily involved for several years. Since the program is based on a partnership among nine nations, including Canada since 1997, and on the operational requirements of Canada's Department of National Defence, Québec and Canadian companies have already committed significant investments in research and development to produce components for this aircraft.

"It is now time to reap the fruits of this development!" notes Suzanne M. Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal. "The window of opportunity is open and we must quickly position ourselves to integrate the first and second tier global supply chains to secure benefits and jobs for the next 30 years. At this critical stage, delays and hesitation will only result in major losses for our industry in Québec and in Canada."

"Many opportunities are still available right now and Québec businesses are in the process of bidding for extremely lucrative contracts that will boost the development of our industrial capacity," says Suzanne M. Benoît. "The cancellation or postponement of the F-35 would only reduce our companies' chances of being awarded these contracts." 

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Currently, over 85 Canadian companies have identified opportunities under the JSF program, and 60 of these companies have already signed contracts. These numbers should increase by the time the JSF enters into full production in 2015. Opportunities should benefit small, medium and large companies across Canada and Québec.