Boeing is officially out of the running for Canada’s $19 billion fighter jet contract after the country revealed on Wednesday that two companies remain in contention.
Public Services and Procurement Canada released a statement on Wednesday announcing that Saab and Lockheed Martin were the final two companies in the bidding process for the contract, which will authorize the acquisition of 88 advanced fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
While the department did not explicitly say that Boeing is out of the running for the contract, its absence from the list of remaining contenders signaled that it had been dropped from the competitive bidding process.
The department said proposals for the contract were “rigorously assessed” based on capability, cost and economic benefits.
It said it will finalize the subsequent steps for the bidding process in the coming weeks, which could involve final negotiations with the top bidder or a "competitive dialogue" in which both companies are allowed to improve their proposals.
Canada is aiming to award a contract next year and hopes to deliver aircraft as early as 2025, according to the department.
Boeing told The Hill in a statement that it is “disappointed and deeply concerned by Canada’s announcement” that its proposal would not be included in the next phase of the country’s bidding process.
The company said its F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III fighter jet "offers proven capability and interoperability" and its proposal "would deliver 250,000 jobs and CAD $61 billion to Canada’s economy.”
Boeing said it is working with the governments of the U.S. and Canada “to better understand the decision and looking for the earliest date to request a debrief to then determine our path forward.”