OTTAWA - Canada told Boeing Co that it doesn't meet the required standards in a surprise move, a defense source said on Thursday.
This means only Lockheed Martin Corp and Sweden's Saab AB are left behind in the race to supply 88 jets. Ottawa intends to make a decision next year on a contract that could be worth up to C $19 billion $15 billion, as Boeing entered its F- 18 Super Hornet in the race. The Canadian Press was the first to report the news.
Defense analysts had been certain that Ottawa would exclude Saab's Gripen plane. Sweden is not a member of NATO or NORAD, the North American defense organization.
Canada is a member of the consortium that developed Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet, which defense sources say is the preferred choice of the Canadian air force.
Lockheed Martin didn't want to comment, while no one at Saab was available for comment. Boeing spokesman Paul Lewis said by email that the company would reserve comment pending official notification from Ottawa.