Bombardier president and CEO Éric Martel expressed dismay on Wednesday about reports that the Canadian government is considering awarding a sole-source contract directly to Boeing for the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) program.
The Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) in February issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input on plans for the CMMA program, which would replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 14 aging CP140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft with ISR-capable aircraft. Calling the RFI a first step in the industry engagement process, the government outlined a timeline for the program, which could carry a value of more than $5 billion, with definition in 2025, implementation in 2029, and initial operational capability in 2034.
The Ottawa Citizen reported late last week that Defense Minister Anita Anand was considering whether to move forward on a proposal from Boeing for between eight and 12 P-8 Poseidons to fulfill the CMMA mission and that the OEM had notified the Canadian government it was considering discontinuing the P-8 line in 2025 otherwise.
Following the reports, Martel responded: “I want to publicly share my concern that Canada, which is facing an important choice about the airborne surveillance of its vast borders, may be considering awarding a sole-source contract.”
He further touted the range, endurance, and reliability of the company's Global 6500 and said the CMMA tender “would be an opportunity for Canada to rethink its surveillance capabilities. A Canadian-built option should, and must, be considered on equal footing with those of foreign companies.”