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July 10, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

Airbus and Boeing ready to drop the Canadian fighter jet tender?


Airbus and Boeing might consider withdrawing from the tender launched by Canada for new fighter jets. Both manufacturers allegedly believe that the process has been rigged in favor of Lockheed Martin.

Sources in the industry quoted by Reuters said that in recent weeks Boeing, Airbus, and Saab, three competitors in the Canadian tender, have officially complained about the way in which the tender seems to favor the fourth candidate, Lockheed Martin.

In 2015, one of the campaign promises of the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was to reduce the procurement budget to replace Canada's aging fleet of F-18s, which would mean not purchasing the F-35. Instead, the country would acquire "one of the many, lower-priced options that better match Canada's defense needs".

Given this favorable context, Dassault Aviation had initially decided to also be in the run. However, in November 2018, the French manufacturer withdrew its candidacy. CEO Eric Trappier explained the decision in a hearing with the French parliament, on May 22, 2019:

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