Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and the Canadian Deputy Minister of National Defense Ward Elcock signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to begin future cooperation in the production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program. Canada has already contributed $150 million to the first development phase of the program.
The JSF PSFD MOU has been signed by the U.S., the Netherlands, and Canada, and will be signed in the near future by the other JSF partner nations -- the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, and Australia. This new MOU will expand cooperation among the nine JSF Partner nations beyond the ongoing JSF system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, providing a framework for future JSF Program efforts in production and beyond . The U.S. and the Netherlands signed the PSFD MOU on Nov. 14, 2006. Canada joined the SDD MOU in February 2002, and becomes the third JSF partner nation to sign the PSFD MOU.
This agreement will have a significant positive impact across the entire spectrum of the US-Canadian defense relationship, including North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), for many years to come, not only in terms of providing air dominance for homeland defense, but also interoperability, defense transformation, modernization, cost reduction, acquisition excellence, and the health of the North American industrial base. We anticipate that the other JSF partner nations will sign the JSF PSFD MOU between now and the end of December to support commencement of cooperative production, sustainment, and follow-on development efforts by all nine partner nations in January 2007.
Joint Strike Fighter, as the largest ever US DoD acquisition program, continues to set new standards in development of manufacturing technologies, acquisition and business practices, technology transfer, and export licensing. The first test aircraft is on-track for first flight later this month. The JSF Program is providing great opportunities for partner industries through the best value model – selecting manufacturers and maintainers based on a combination of quality, price, and timeliness.
Once the JSF PSFD MOU signing process is completed, the partners will cooperatively develop, produce, test, train and operate a Lightning II JSF Air System that will enhance the interoperability, survivability, and affordability of our future forces. Continued Canadian participation reinforces the longstanding and close relationship between the U.S. and Canadian Air Forces, and ensures a solid foundation for future air operations with other allied and friendly nations in a joint and coalition environment.