Having faced criticism about poor investment in defence in a NATO report. The Canadian government was shamed into increasing its defence budget. One area that NATO had particularly highlighted was lack of Maritime patrol capability which had been steadily eroded. The activities of Russian, Chinese and North Korean submarines had been noted round the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coasts of Canada with serviceability of the CP104 Aurora fleet at embarassing levels. The Government decided a new platform was necessary. This was complicated by the on going dispute with Boeing over the Bombardier C series and some rather crass and undiplomatic comments by the US president during a visit to Boeing. (These comments also upset other NATO and friendly nations). These comments backfired spectacularly on Boeing.
Canada was keen to procure common equipment with NATO and Commonwealth Allies. With Germany, Netherlands, Poland and with assistance Italy, Spain and Portugal opting for the Kawasaki P1. This given the dispute with Boeing was the obvious choice as the suggestion by France and Germany of an Airbus MPA was prohibitivly expensive. France was keen to have EU commonality in its Atlantic replacement and along with the NATO countries the comments of the American President had poisoned the potential of a deal with Boeing along with Boeing's agressive marketing against Airbus.
Italy, Poland and Cezch republic also wanted an AEW system and the Canadians saw benefits to this and lobbied successfully for A wedgetail radar married to the P1 airframe (To keep commonality with UK and Turkey in NATO and Australia in the Commnwealth) which Kawasaki was only to pleased to go with (along with ELINT platforms for France and Germany). Where the NATO aircraft were to be built became an issue when a New Japanese government began to back away from arms exporting.
France was keen for Dassualt to build the Aircraft, the German company Dornier approached Kawaski. Both of thie bids failed due to some embarrassing and inept industrial espionage by the French and an industrial espionage and its insistance it should have a licence allowing it to export to whoever it chose and Kawasaki not being able to compete or export against French interest. the German government were alarmed at potential exports to.
Bombardier with a fairly low key bid won with production for the whole "North Atlantic Area" in Canada. Bombardier did spread some of its manufacturing out with engine Naccelles being made in Belfast. Tail assemblies in USA and components from Mexico and Morrocco.
The 21 Patrol and 12 AEW aircraft purchased by the Canadians were divided into East coast squadrons and training units Based at CFB Greenwood NS and a "Mixed" Sqn Based on the west coast at CFB Comox BC.