By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA--Canada said Thursday it entered into a formal pact with Boeing to acquire as many as 16 of the company's maritime patrol aircraft.
Canada will pay up to 10.4 billion Canadian dollars, the equivalent of $7.6 billion, for the planes and associated parts, officials said. The Boeing's Poseidon P-8A aircraft will eventually replace an ageing fleet of Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.
Delivery of the Boeing aircraft should begin in 2026, with an average of one plane per month. All the planes are expected to be delivered as early as the fall of 2027.
Defense Minister Bill Blair said the Aurora aircraft have been in service since 1980, and are "becoming increasingly difficult to support, expensive to sustain and less suited to operating in today's threat environment."
In June, the U.S. State Department approved the possible sale of the Boeing aircraft to Canada. Blair said the new Boeing aircraft will help Canada meet its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires