Boeing to Decide on Statement of Intent for Canada Fighter Jets Soon

02/05/18 03:49 AM EST

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi

 

SINGAPORE--Boeing Co. (BA) has until the end of this week to decide whether it wants to submit an initial proposal for a possible fighter-jet deal in Canada, a senior company executive said Monday.

"We are evaluating our options," Gene Cunningham, Boeing's vice president for defense, space and security said at a press conference in Singapore, in response to a question on whether the company will compete to sell 88 new fighter jets to replace Canada's CF-18 Hornet aircraft. The CF-18 is the Canadian variant of the Boeing F/A-18 jets.

Companies need to submit their statement of intent by the end of this week, Mr. Cunningham said.

Mr. Cunningham said he wasn't aware of plans by other companies to submit their initial proposals for the potential Canadian order and didn't rule out a no-bid by Boeing. The statement of intent is "the very first step" and is more a proposal on industrial capability, he said.

Canada plans to launch a bidding process with a tender out in mid-2019 to replace its fleet of 76 CF-18 aircraft, which were acquired between 1982 and 1988. A winner would be unveiled in 2022-or 12 years after the previous Conservative government pledged to buy 65 F-35s from Lockheed Martin Corp., a deal that was put on hold in 2012.

As part of his election platform in 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed not to proceed with the F-35 acquisition.

Canada has threatened to disqualify bidders that cause harm to the economy-a possible warning to Boeing to drop its trade complaint against Canada's Bombardier Inc.

Canada announced in December its plan to acquire 18 secondhand fighter jets from Australia as a stopgap to augment its aging fleet of CF-18s and complete NATO missions.

 

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2018 03:49 ET (08:49 GMT)

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