OTTAWA -- Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne won't say whether the process to replace a fleet of aging military patrol planes will be an open-source bid.

On Tuesday, Champagne told reporters in Ottawa the federal government has made no decision so far on whether Bombardier Inc. will have a chance to submit a proposal on new reconnaissance aircraft.

For months, Bombardier CEO Eric Martel has been pushing Ottawa to put out a call for tenders as he promotes the company's still non-existent surveillance plane over a Boeing Co. alternative -- the apparent frontrunner.

Bombardier joined forces earlier this year with U.S.-based General Dynamics on a patrol aircraft, a modified Global 6500 business jet with submarine-hunting technology, which they hope will supplant the Royal Canadian Air Force's 14 CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol planes in the early 2030s.

However, Public Services and Procurement Canada describes Boeing's P-8A Poseidons as the only currently available aircraft that meets all of the military's operational requirements -- particularly around intelligence gathering, surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.

Martel is set to appear before the House of Commons defence committee this afternoon following a speech at the annual Canadian Aerospace Summit.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2023.