U.K. firm's Ottawa offices to help feds find new fighter jets

Fighter jets
Stock photo.

Commerce Decisions, a U.K.-based company with offices in Ottawa, has secured a contract with the federal government to support the procurement process for 88 advanced fighter jets, replacing Canada’s current fleet.

The contract, worth up to $2 million, is under the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), which is run by DND, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED). The acquisition of the actual planes is worth up to $19 billion and will include associated equipment, weapons, and other services, according to a press release.

Commerce Decisions will draw on team members from across its operations to create an assessment plan for the fighter jet procurement program.This includes supporting the development of an evaluation plan for the competitive procurement process in preparing an evaluation strategy, methodology and criteria. According to the press release, the procurement of modern fighter jets is “essential” for Canada’s contribution to its NORAD and NATO commitments, as well as for the defence of Canada and its sovereignty globally. 

According to DND, the development of evaluation criteria is key to ensuring the procurement of the right equipment at the right price. The contract with Commerce Decisions is independent from the identification of suppliers for the fighter aircraft fleet.

The contest for the fighter jets was relaunched in December 2017, following the Liberal government’s campaign promise to replace Canada’s CF-18 Hornets. The government also announced plans at that time to buy 18 used interim jets from Australia instead of U.S.-based Boeing, in response to Boeing’s trade challenge of Canadian planemaker Bombardier, which was put to rest in March 2018. 

Canada has not yet finalized the deal with Australia, but announced plans to increase the number of jets purchased to 25. The deal now hinges on approval from the U.S. government. 

Commerce Decisions works with clients to build assessment schemes, including in the defence sector where it has worked extensively on U.K. MOD acquisitions as well as internationally, according to the press release.

This isn’t the first time Commerce Decisions has been tasked with a large defence contract by the Canadian government. In 2015, the company was awarded a contract to facilitate the delivery of assessment criteria for warship designers and combat systems integrators for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project. 

The CSC project is an investment in the design of 15 ships, the largest and most complex shipbuilding initiative in Canada since the Second World War, according to the federal government’s website. The CSC project and the FFCP are two of the largest procurements the Canadian government has undertaken.