Canada is to decide by year end whether to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the USA to become a minority partner in development of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Talks between the Department of National Defence (DND) and its US counterpart are currently under way over Canada's role in the project.

The DND is considering what is known as Level 3 participation, costing between $200 million and $250 million and giving a 1%-2% share of the programme.

"We're working with Boeing and Lockheed Martin on the level of industrial participation Canadian companies would play in the programme," says Michael Slack, DND project leader for JSF. Participation could range from aircraft manufacturing and engine development to simulation, avionics and training. The DND, however, will not be involved in the selection of the Boeing or Lockheed Martin aircraft. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada says programme benefits for Canadian companies could reach C$6 billion ($4 billion).

Source: Flight International