The Canadian government is contemplating buying used F/A-18 Hornets from Australia instead of procuring new Super Hornet planes directly from Boeing, a move that would be a major blow to the company's fresh new aircraft line, Defense News reports.
Neither Canada's Department of National Defense nor Public Services and Procurement Canada agreed to report on what is, as yet, a rumor.
However, Boeing Defense President and CEO Leanne Caret's reaction might offer observers a hint. Speaking at the 2017 Reagan National Defense Forum in December, she said:
"As with any of our customer's decisions, we are there for the long term and in Canada, we have had a proud history with them for decades. They are going to make the right decision that is right for them." Caret did not suggest that issues with Canada could be resolved, Defense News notes.
If Canada actually decides to buy used Hornets from Australia, they will also have to invest in maintaining the aging planes. That contract is likely to go to L3 Technologies, which means even less Canadian pie for Boeing, RCAF commander Lt. Gen. Michael Hood told the website.