Prime Minister Stephen Harper settled a dispute between Treasury Board and the Defence Department to approve an $800-million, sole-source purchase of next-generation Sea Sparrow missiles for the Royal Canadian Navy’s aging frigates, sources familiar with the situation say.
The decision was taken early this week following a written request earlier this month by three ministers — Industry Minister James Moore, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Works Minister Diane Finley — that won out over the objections of Treasury Board president Tony Clement, sources say.
The Sea Sparrow is built by U.S.-based Raytheon. The next-generation version, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, is distinct from the existing, older version in that it is “smart,” and can be guided while in flight.
The upshot, if the decision stands, is that the Lockheed-Martin Raytheon group, which is vying for billions in contracts in the building of systems for Canada’s soon-to-be-built new navy, will…
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