MONTREAL Nov 23 Aerospace companies in the
Canadian province of Quebec will likely benefit from in-service
support contracts linked to a federal government purchase of 18
Boeing Co Super Hornets, an industry group said on
On Tuesday, Canada's Liberal government said it would
initiate talks with Boeing to soon acquire Super Hornets as a
stop-gap measure while preparing an open, five-year competition
to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets.
While the terms of a Super Hornet deal are not yet clear,
the purchase could generate new in-service support contracts for
industry in Canada's aerospace hub of Quebec, where CF-18s are
now maintained, said Suzanne Benoit, director general of
"Quebec is well positioned for all aspects of services
support and other specialized areas related to this type of
aircraft," Benoit said in a statement.
Boeing has said it is committed to giving Canadian companies
contracts as a result of the deal.
One aerospace analyst suggested Montreal-headquartered CAE
Inc would likely benefit as it could partner with
Boeing to deliver training.
Simulator-manufacturer CAE works with L-3 MAS, a
Quebec-based division of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc
, to provide in-service support for the aging CF-18s.
CAE spokeswoman Pascale Alpha said in an email the company
wants to provide support for both the existing CF-18 fleet, and
future Super Hornets aircraft.
"We have the experience to do that," she wrote. "We believe
we are in the best position to (also) provide the training for
the fleet of Super Hornets to Canada."
Canada's Procurement Minister Judy Foote has said details
about the in-service support component of a Super Hornets
procurement would be known next year.
Canada intends to buy the 18 Super Hornets outright, as
opposed to leasing them or purchasing them with a buyback
provision, a source familiar with the matter said.
Replacing the CF-18 jets - some of which have been flying
for 35 years - has been repeatedly put off.
Canada's former Conservative government said in 2010 it
would buy 65 F-35 jets from Boeing rival Lockheed Martin Corp
for C$9 billion ($6.7 billion). During last year's
election campaign, the Liberals vowed not to buy the planes on
the grounds they were too costly.
Lockheed has given Canadian firms about $1 billion in
development and production work on the F-35 fighter jet program.
(Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Alan Crosby)