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Mon, Aug 14, 2006

Report: Boeing Has A 'Lock' On Canadian Contracts

Comes Over Protests From Airbus

Some good news for Boeing, but not without some controversy... as the Canadian Press reports that, as expected, the American aerospace manufacturer has "a lock" on a total of $8 billion in contracts to supply Canadian Forces with four new C-17 Globemaster III transport planes, as well as 16 heavy-lifting Chinook helicopters.

In a statement released Friday, Canadian Public Works Minister Michael Fortier said all that's left is to finalize the terms of the deal.

As is typical, what's good news for Boeing is bad news for rival Airbus Industrie of Europe (and vice versa.) In this case, Airbus also placed a bid for the deal... while also complaining the bidding process unfairly favored the North American manufacturer.

How truthful those accusations are is subject to debate (and Boeing is no stranger to accusations of questionable procurement deals.) There is no debate, however, over the value of such a deal -- which also includes maintenance work for all the aircraft involved.

Perhaps Airbus can do better with Canada's proposal to replace its aging C-130 Hercules transports with 17 new aircraft... although industry observers report that, once again, Canada seems to have its heart on the American competitor... in this case, original C-130 manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.airbus.com, www.forces.gc.ca

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