By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – Federal officials are expected to sit down with different fighter jet manufacturers in Paris next week.
The meetings are being billed as the first step towards the eventual launch of a competition in 2019 to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet with 88 new fighters.
But they also come as uncertainty remains over the Liberals’ plan to buy 18 Super Hornets from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing in the meantime.
The government has threatened to scrap that plan in retaliation for Boeing’s trade dispute with Canadian rival Bombardier.
That sets the stage for Boeing’s competitors to use the Paris meetings as an opportunity to pitch their own aircraft should the government follow through on its threat.
For its part, Boeing says it continues to work with the U.S. government to sell the Super Hornets to Canada.