Canada to Support Export of Bombardier Multi-Mission Patrol Aircraft 

A Canadian government organization will support Bombardier and General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada in exporting their domestically-built long range multi-mission patrol aircraft.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) supports Canadian exporters in gaining access to foreign government procurement markets.

The Ottawa Citizen quoted CCC’s senior director of communications & marketing Susannah Denovan-Fortier as saying their memorandum of understanding “begins a process that is in its earliest stages for international market exploration as the capability is not yet available for sale.”

Multi-Mission Aircraft Program 

This comes after Bombardier teamed with General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada to offer the aircraft for Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft program as the replacement for the country’s aging CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft, set to retire in 2030.

The Global 6500 aircraft will be fitted with mission systems tailored for the program.

It is part of Bombardier’s effort to persuade the Canadian government to choose its aircraft over Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft for the program.

Ottawa’s Preference for Poseidon 

Canada’s procurement agency, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), in a letter of request in March concluded that the “P-8A Poseidon is the only currently available aircraft that meets all of the [Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft pogram] operational requirements, namely anti-submarine warfare and C4ISR.”

The US State Department subsequently approved the foreign military sale of 16 P-8As to Canada in June for an estimated $5.9 billion.

The sole source procurement was a departure from the Canadian military’s earlier plan to launch a competition in 2024 and accept bids until 2027.

A total of 23 Canadian and international firms responded to Ottawa’s initial request for the program in 2022.

P-8A Poseidon
P-8A Poseidon. Photo: Boeing

Political Lobbying

The PSPC’s decision sparked political lobbying by Quebec-based Bombardier and industry partners, including General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, located in Ontario.

The premiers of Canada’s two biggest provinces wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in July calling for open competition in the program that would allow Canadian firms to bid.

US Pressure

Meanwhile, the US is endeavoring to clinch the deal, saying that it would benefit local businesses as well.

“It is important to remember that there is significant economic benefit for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises even when procurement is through the U.S. Department of Defense for a platform produced by a US company,” Ottawa Citizen quoted an email by US ambassador to Canada David Cohen to Canadian federal ministers.

“The US Department of Defense procurement process is, with very few exceptions, open to Canadian companies through the U.S.-Canada Defense Production Sharing Agreement. No other country has that benefit.”

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