Video wades into Lockheed-Boeing battle over Canadian jet orders

Tue Dec 3, 2013 8:14pm EST
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By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON Dec 3 (Reuters) - A new video is circulating on the Internet that pokes fun at Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet while lauding the F/A-18 built by rival Boeing Co, the latest salvo in an increasingly pitched battle over Canadian fighter orders.

In the video, two little boys compare what they were able to buy with the $10 they each got from their grandfather. One shows off his stealthy new F-35 fighter, while the other proudly reports that he was able to buy three F/A-18 plus 10 years' worth of logistics support for the same amount.

Tyler Brand, vice president of business development for Canadian defense contractor RaceRocks 3D, said his company made the video on its own to showcase its skills and boost Boeing's marketing efforts while it was bidding for work from AeroInfo, a Boeing unit in Canada.

Boeing is trying to round up additional orders for its F/A-18 fighter and the EA-18G electronic attack plane which is based on the same airframe to extend the plane's production past 2016, when it is currently slated to end.

Boeing executives say they see good prospects for F/A-18 orders from the U.S. Navy, Canada, Australia, Denmark and several other countries.

Lockheed executives say the cost of the F-35 is coming down, and they remain confident that the plane will prevail in Canada and the other markets given its radar-evading capabilities and other next-generation equipment.

Brand said Boeing was told about the video, but did not act to block its circulation. "They didn't forbid it," he said.

A Boeing spokesman said his company was not responsible for the video.   Continued...