Canada talking to five manufacturers about new fighter jets

Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:47pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is reaching out to five aircraft manufacturers to replace the country's aging fleet of CF-18 jets, renewing an effort that has been drawn-out and troubled.

Canada announced in 2010 it would give a single source contract to Lockheed-Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote) for 65 F-35 jets but later reversed course as cost estimates soared.

Ottawa has set aside C$9 billion ($8.9 billion) to buy the new jets.

The public works ministry, confirming earlier leaks from senior government officials, said in a statement on Friday that Ottawa would talk to Lockheed Martin and four other companies:

- Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote), which makes the F-18 Super Hornet

- EADS EAD.PA, which makes the Eurofighter

- Saab AB SAAB.b.ST, which makes the Gripen

- Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA: Quote), which makes the Rafale

The ministry said it would send a questionnaire to the five seeking detailed information on the technical capabilities of fighter aircraft in production or scheduled to be in production.   Continued...