One Horse Race? A study of interoperability in Canada's Future Fighter Capability Project

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Richardson, William Hugh




Through the $19 billion Future Fighter Capability Project, the Government of Canada will procure a replacement for the CF-18. However, the requirement that the future fighter be "seamlessly interoperable" with key allies calls into question whether the competitive selection process can be run in good faith. [National Defence, 2018] This study argues that contemporary Canadian defence policy is oriented around partnerships with other states, especially the US, and that interoperability would therefore best be attained through the selection of a fifth-generation American platform. However, it is unclear that the FFCP evaluation criteria, which include mandatory and rated technical requirements as well as pillars for cost and industrial offsets, account for high-end tactical networking and new allied technical standards. The FFCP may result in the acquisition of a type that prevents the CAF from interoperating "seamlessly" with allies over its lifecycle. This risk undermines Canada's reliance on partnerships for national defence.


Military Studies
International Law and Relations
Public Administration




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

International Affairs

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Theses and Dissertations

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