Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) is expected to issue a draft request for proposals next month for an advanced multirole infrared sensor pod to equip its Boeing CF-18 Hornet fighters. The initial step will enable bidders to provide feedback on the targeting requirement before a formal request for proposals is issued next January, says Lt Col Mario Lagrange, project manager for the C$2.6 billion ($2.2 billion) CF-18 Incremental Modernisation Project.
Bids are expected from Lockheed Martin offering the Sniper, Northrop Grumman/Rafael with the Litening and Raytheon with the ATFLIR system to replace the CF-18’s Lockheed Nite Hawk targeting pods. A contract worth about C$200 million will be signed around July 2006, says Lagrange, with initial operational capability to follow within 12 months.
The DND has also begun procurement procedures for advanced satellite- and laser-guided weapons to be acquired for the CF-18 under a roughly C$60 million foreign military sales deal to be signed with the US government next September. The proposed deal has already been passed by a senior Canadian review board, but is awaiting programme management and treasury board approval.