During a three-day visit, the American company held 50 B2B meetings and toured the facilities of many key, pre-selected players from Quebec's aerospace industry. These meetings flowed from a mission to Lockheed Martin's plant in Fort Worth in December 2010 in which Aero Montreal participated. They aim to position new potential suppliers in the global supply chain of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet.
The themes of the meetings covered mainly maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrades of aircraft; the LM-Star program and development testing programs; support equipment as well as training systems and equipment.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is a key program in which the Quebec aerospace industry has been heavily involved for several years. "It is important for our companies to position themselves, starting now, in order to integrate into the global supply chains and thereby ensure spinoffs and jobs for the next 30 to 40 years," notes Gilles Labbe, Chairman of the Board of Aero Montreal and Chief Executive Officer of Heroux-Devtek. "That's why Aero Montreal is proud to be working with the CED and its partners to maximize the spinoffs of these important contracts for the Quebec industry.
CED is part of the inter-ministerial team established to manage Canada's participation in the international partnership for the F-35. The agency is playing an active role in this program to ensure that the aerospace industry in the Quebec regions can make a positive contribution and participate in the most optimal way possible in the program. This effort is being supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade (MDEIE) as well as by the Quebec Aerospace Association for SMEs (AQA).
"At this crucial stage of the process for selecting suppliers, Aero Montreal and its Defence and National Security Working Group are supporting and playing an active role in promoting links between Quebec companies and Lockheed Martin," says Suzanne M. Benoit, CEO of Aero Montreal. "As a strategic think tank with the mission of optimizing the competitiveness and growth of Quebec's aerospace industry, Aero Montreal will also participate in a third mission to Texas next fall."
About Aero Montreal
Aero Montreal, Quebec's aerospace cluster, is a think tank that brings together all the major decision makers in Quebec's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, associations and unions.
Aero Montreal's mission is to mobilize industry players around common goals and focused actions to increase cohesion and optimize competitiveness. By fostering the growth and expansion of Greater Montreal's aerospace cluster, it intends to make this industry an increasingly important source of wealth creation for the Montreal region, Quebec and Canada.