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Boeing reportedly out of the running for Canadian fighter jet contract

Boeing reportedly out of the running for Canadian fighter jet contract

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OTTAWA — Canada has formally excluded Boeing Co. from a multibillion-dollar contract to supply 88 new fighter jets, the Canadian Press reported on Thursday, citing industry and government sources.

If confirmed, the decision would represent a blow to Boeing operations in St. Louis, where the aerospace giant was looking to international contracts, including the multibillion dollar Canadian bid, to sustain its F/A-18 Super Hornet assembly lines.

Boeing said its proposal would involve partnerships with five Canadian companies to build, maintain, support and train pilots on 88 new planes, a buy it said would deliver 61 billion Canadian dollars in economic impact and 250,000 jobs.

The Canadian Press, citing three unnamed sources, said Boeing was informed on Wednesday that its bid to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with a new fleet of Super Hornet fighter jets did not meet its requirements.

With Boeing out of the running, just Lockheed Martin Corp. and Sweden’s Saab AB would remain in contention for a contract said to be worth up to $15 billion.

Defense analysts had been certain the Canadian federal government would exclude Saab’s Gripen plane. Unlike Canada, Sweden is neither a member of NATO or NORAD, the North American defense organization.

Canada is a member of the consortium that developed Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, which defense sources say is the preferred choice of the Canadian air force.

Boeing had banked on offering a less-expensive alternative to the stealthy but pricey F-35.

Lockheed Martin declined to comment, while no one at Saab was available for comment.

Boeing spokesman Paul Lewis said by email that the company would reserve comment pending official notification from Ottawa.

A final decision is expected in 2022.

The Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Originally posted at 2:48 p.m. Thursday.

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