UPDATE 1-Canada talking to 5 manufacturers about new fighter jets

Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:46pm EST
 
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* Canada initially chose F-35 jets, then backtracked

* Canada says will spend C$9 billion on jets

* Canada talking to Lockheed, Boeing, three European firms

OTTAWA, Jan 25 (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 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, which makes the F-18 Super Hornet

- EADS, which makes the Eurofighter   Continued...