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Bombardier won’t contest Ottawa’s sole-source deal on new Boeing military planes

MONTREAL — Bombardier Inc. says it won’t contest the federal government’s decision to replace the military’s aging patrol planes with aircraft from U.S. rival Boeing Co.

The government announced last month it will buy at least 14 Boeing surveillance planes from the United States in a sole-source deal that marks the coming phaseout of its half-century-old fleet of CP-140 Auroras — closingthe door on Quebec-based Bombardier.

Defence Minister Bill Blair said Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which features submarine-hunting technology, meets all the needs of the Air Force and presents the only choice available, given the proposed Bombardier alternative is not slated to start rolling off the line until the early 2030s.

In a statement, Bombardier says it remains disappointed it was not allowed to bid on the contract but that it will focus on building relationships between its own industry and the Canadian Armed Forces, rather than file a lawsuit.

The Boeing agreement will cost Ottawa more than $10.4 billion in total, with the new airplanes expected to land north of the border in 2026 and 2027.

Officials said Boeing has also agreed to provide $5.4 billion worth of business activities and investments in Canada over 10 years, which includes drawing on domestic suppliers and supporting 3,000 jobs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)

The Canadian Press

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