OTTAWA — Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne won’t say whether the process to replace a fleet of aging military patrol planes will be an open-source bid.
On Tuesday, Champagne told reporters in Ottawa the federal government has made no decision so far on whether Bombardier Inc. will have a chance to submit a proposal on new reconnaissance aircraft.
For months, Bombardier CEO Éric Martel has been pushing Ottawa to put out a call for tenders as he promotes the company’s still non-existent surveillance plane over a Boeing Co. alternative — the apparent frontrunner.
Bombardier joined forces earlier this year with U.S.-based General Dynamics on a patrol aircraft, a modified Global 6500 business jet with submarine-hunting technology, which they hope will supplant the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 14 CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol planes in the early 2030s.
However, Public Services and Procurement Canada describes Boeing’s P-8A Poseidons as the only currently available aircraft that meets all of the military’s operational requirements — particularly around intelligence gathering, surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.
Martel is set to appear before the House of Commons defence committee this afternoon following a speech at the annual Canadian Aerospace Summit.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2023.
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The Canadian Press