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Ottawa confirms purchase of 14 planes Boeing surveillance aircraft

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Built by Boeing, the P-8A Poseidon is a multi-task maritime reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft.

The Canadian Press

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Federal government confirms purchase of at least 14 Boeing surveillance planes for more than $10 billion, including $5.9 billion for the planes themselves.

Aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

These devices are not simple aircraft: they are complex weapon systems. And the Poseidon has a proven capability and a track record of success.

A quote from Bill Blair, Minister of National Defense

In a press conference Thursday, the Minister of National Defense, Bill Blair, also indicated that the Boeing reconnaissance plane is the only aircraft available that will meet the needs of the Royal Canadian Air Force before the Auroras reach retirement age in 2030.

In a media briefing, officials said the fleet will give Canada new submarine-hunting capabilities in the Arctic and that some allies, including Norway, already use the planes in the Great North.

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Officials from the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Department of Supply provided this information on condition of anonymity.

The other members of the Five Eyes alliance – the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand – as well as Germany and South Korea all use the P-8 or plan to do so.

This interoperability is essential in the current context of global security. Our adversaries are deploying increasingly sophisticated, stealthy and lethal capabilities.

A quote from Bill Blair, Minister of National Defense

The decision to opt for a single contract closed the door to Quebec business jet manufacturer Bombardier, which had lobbied for an open call for tenders. /p>

A traditional procurement procedure with open tender would take three to four years before the planes could be purchased, recalled officials on Thursday.

Bombardier President and CEO Eric Martel argued that his plane, which is currently a prototype and expected to roll off assembly lines in the early 2030s, would offer a cheaper, higher-quality alternative. technology, built in Canada.

In a press release published after the government's announcement, Bombardier expressed its disappointment, arguing that its solution could have become a model as many allied countries around the world consider our offering as the future of multi-mission aircraft.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, who represents a riding in Mauricie, described the x27;Laudable goal company effort. However, he joined his fellow ministers in presenting the P-8A as the only option currently on the table.

He noted that Boeing was committed to establishing an innovation center in Montreal, which is already an aerospace hub and the headquarters of Bombardier.

Minister Blair also recognized that the decision to opt for an exclusive market was a concrete gesture of recognition of the need for the federal government to act more quickly on of supplies.

The Machinists' Union (IAMAW) called Ottawa's decision a disavowal of our aerospace industry.

When you have a company like Bombardier in your territory, whose product quality is recognized worldwide and it wants to bid for a public contract, the least you could have done would have been to let it a real chance to show off.

A quote from David Chartrand, Canadian vice president of the IAMAW

Officials said Boeing also signed an agreement that provides for activities trade and investments in Canada for the value of its share of the contract, which amounts to $5.4 billion.

Canada's deal with the U.S. government allows it to buy up to 16 planes, but officials say there are plans to buy more. #x27;first 14 to meet the needs of the Air Force.

The new fleet will be based in Nova Scotia , at Canadian Forces Base Greenwood, and in British Columbia, at Canadian Forces Base Comox. These aircraft have a range of more than 7,000 kilometers and can be refueled in flight using the new fleet of CC-130 Huskys.

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