Tue, Dec 19, 2006
Pentagon Authorizes Funds For 10 More Transports
Things are looking up in Long Beach, CA, where Boeing builds the
C-17 Globemaster III transport plane. The Pentagon announced Monday
a new order for 10 more of the four-engine heavy lifters for the US
Air Force, which should extend production for at least a year
beyond original predictions.
Reuters reports the $2 billion fixed-price contract for fiscal
year 2007, which began October 1, is in addition to the 180 C-17s
already ordered by the USAF.
As Aero-News has reported,
production on the C-17 was slated to end in 2008, after the Air
Force had capped its order due to budget constraints.
The new order, combined with recent commitments from
international customers, should see production last through
late-2009, representatives with Boeing said.
The advanced four-engine C-17 has come into its own in the last
several years. Analysts state the plane's high usage rate in Iraq
and Afghanistan convinced lawmakers of the need for additional
Boeing had spent approximately $10 million of its own funds to
keep C-17 production going through a drought in orders.
"Congressional funding of these aircraft is a significant
endorsement of the C-17's vital role in fighting the global war on
terrorism and in providing humanitarian relief at home and around
the world," said Boeing spokeswoman Kerry Gildea.
Boeing is taking a proactive stance in securing even more
orders. The company has already urged the Air Force to buy 12 more
C-17s, starting in fiscal year 2008.
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