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Dassault pulls out of race to supply Canada with jets: sources

Reuters  |  OTTAWA 

By David Ljunggren

(Reuters) - France's has withdrawn its fighter from the race to supply with 88 new military jets, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The move means that four manufacturers are left in the competition, which Canadian officials say will be worth between C$15 billion ($11.4 billion) and C$19 billion. is due to issue its final requirement for the fleet next May.

Defense sources have long said the favors a U.S. plane, either the or Boeing Co's Super Hornet.

Canada's Liberal government, stung by a series of procurement mishaps over previous decades, insists the contest will be an open one despite the armed forces' close links to the and widespread use of American equipment.

The three sources, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation, said Dassault was not convinced it could meet the necessary security requirements.

does not belong to the so-called Five Eyes group of nations that share top secret intelligence - Canada, the United States, Britain, and This would have made operating with U.S. forces complicated, the sources said.

Sweden's Saab AB, one of the four remaining contenders, faces the same challenge with its Gripen jet.

consortium, makers of the Eurofighter, includes Five Eyes member Britain.

The office of Carla Qualtrough, in overall charge of major military purchases, said it was looking into the reported withdrawal.

has been trying unsuccessfully for almost a decade to buy replacements for its aging fighters, some of which are 40-years old. The former said in 2010 it would buy 65 jets but later scrapped the decision, triggering years of delays and reviews.

Canada is a member of the international consortium that developed the Canadian came to power in 2015 vowing not to buy the plane on the grounds that it was too costly, but has since softened its line.

($1 = 1.3130 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 13:00 IST