Bombardier Raises Concerns with Possible Canada-Boeing Deal

A Canadian Air Force Lockheed CP-140 in flight
Aldo Bidini (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The Canadian government is looking to procure a handful of Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA), which has drawn concerns from Bombardier, as Boeing is being tapped to be its chosen winner. 

The Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) issued a request for information (RFI), on the opinions and possibilities for aircraft choices for the CMMA program.

Ultimately, the selected aircraft will become the replacement for the ageing 14 Lockheed CP140 Aurora maritime aircraft. The CP140s are ISR-capable machines. The Canadian government has given a deadline of 2025, with the contract valued at more than $5 billion. 

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand was intrigued by an offer from Boeing. The American manufactured pitched between 8 and 12 Boeing 737 P-8 Poseidon as CMA’s contender. 

Bombardier Strikes Back 

After Boeing somewhat successfully entertained the Canadians, Bombardier CEO Eric 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.”

Eric Martel mentions that the Global 6500 is a more than capable machine and is well-suited for the CMMA tender.

He mentions that it is of the utmost importance for the Canadian government to support Canadian product, adding that this 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,” he urged.

The Global 6500

Moreover, the Global 6500 is a proven machine used by many nations. The Canadian manufacturer has sold the Global series to various governments, most of whom if not all are allies of the Canadian government; including the US, UK, Germany and Sweden and many more.

These countries are very satisfied with the aircraft. The Global seems capable of meeting the needs of the Canadian government. Given the country is the second largest in the world, the Global series could perform the tasks seamlessly.

This is due to their long-range capabilities with their proven track record. Moreover, the aircraft’s design contributes to a very aerodynamically efficient aircraft, which contributes greatly to its lower operating costs, and lower carbon footprint.

Therefore, Global 6500 fits the needs of the Canadian government perfectly, due to its long-range capabilities in patrolling the vast Canadian borders cost-effectively.  

It’s all politics?

Aren’t all governments supposed to support their own economy? The rational answer for oneself is a ‘yes’, and this is what Bombardier thinks too.

Boeing’s offer may better suit the interest of the Canadian government, but to some like Bombardier, they believe supporting any homegrown company is a must.

Canada is home to many talented workforces in the aviation industry and will support more than thousands of jobs should the Global 6500 be chosen.

This will also mean increasing the financial capabilities and integrity of Bombardier products. In addition, the Canadian economy will also benefit should the CMMA tender be awarded to Bombardier.

It may be all politics at the end of the day, but Bombardier has a valid reason why it may triumph over Boeing reason – it’s Canadian-built and made for Canadians, period.

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