OTTAWA Jan 25 Canada said on Friday it was reaching out to five aircraft manufacturers as part of a drawn-out and troubled bid to replace the country's aging fleet of CF-18 jets.
Canada announced in 2010 it would buy Lockheed-Martin Corp's F-35, but later reversed course, amid soaring cost estimates.
Ottawa has set aside C$9 billion ($8.9 billion) to buy the jets.
The public works ministry, confirming earlier leaks from senior government officials, said in a statement on Friday that Ottawa would talk to Lockheed Martin and four other firms:
* Boeing Co, which makes the F-18 Super Hornet
* EADS, which makes the Eurofighter
* Saab AB, which makes the Gripen
* Dassault Aviation, which makes the Rafale