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Canada to accept bid from Boeing for new fighter jets

© US NAVY/AFP/File | An F/A-18E Super Hornet, manufactured by Boeing, is shown in this July 1, 2017 file photo

OTTAWA (AFP) - 

Canada said Thursday it was allowing Boeing to submit a bid to replace the country's aging F-18 fleet, after an earlier trade dispute between the American manufacturer and Ottawa.

The announcement came a month after the US International Trade Commission rejected a complaint filed by Boeing against its Canadian rival Bombardier, demanding nearly 300 percent anti-dumping duties on the C Series passenger plane.

Boeing, which makes the Super Hornet, is one of five manufacturers invited to submit proposals in spring 2019 for an order of 88 advanced fighter jets, which are to be delivered in 2025, according to a Canadian government statement.

The other manufacturers are US-based Lockheed Martin (F35), France's Dassault (Rafale), the Airbus group (Eurofighter Typhoon), and Sweden's Saab (Gripen).

Ottawa will evaluate the bids based on "cost, technical requirements and economic benefits," the government said. The winning bidder will have to invest in Canada an amount equal to the value of the contract.

"Our government is confident this will result in a robust competition, providing good value to Canadians and the Canadian economy," Minister of Public Services and Procurement Carla Qualtrough said Thursday.

In December, the Canadian government scrapped a deal to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets at a cost of more than $5 billion, following Boeing's complaint against Bombardier.

Boeing had accused the Canadian company of selling the C Series, which can seat between 100 and 150 passengers, at a loss to Delta Air Lines.

© 2018 AFP