October 2, 2018 / 4:18 PM / in 14 days

Britain in talks with Boeing for multi-billion pound air force contract - FT

(Reuters) - Britain has begun exclusive talks with planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N) for a multi-billion pound contract to replace its fleet of ageing surveillance aircraft for the Royal Air Force, the Financial Times reported here on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition fair (LABACE) at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

The decision to move ahead with one potential supplier, expected to be confirmed ahead of a Nato conference this week, will likely spark a backlash from parts of the defence establishment as it has been done without a competitive process, according to the report.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reuters first reported in July that Britain's government was nearing a decision to buy four to six surveillance planes built by Boeing. (reut.rs/2IwUpgB)

The contract to replace its six ageing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning (AWACS) planes with a fleet of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail jets would, if confirmed, be worth over $1 billion, Reuters had reported, citing sources familiar with the plans.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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