Brighter Future?

/ January 13, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The Air Force awarded C-17 Globemaster III-builder Boeing a $1.1 billion aircraft support contract yesterday, according to a service announcement. The award comes amid uncertainty about the future of C-17 production line.

Whether to by more C-17s -- not to mention Lockheed Martin-built F-22A fighters and new tankers -- is one of the major procurement decisions President-elect Barack Obama will face upon taking office next week.

Tens of thousands of jobs are associated with C-17 production, which in these economic times likely will factor in the decision.

In the meantime, the future on international C-17 production got a bit brighter yesterday when British Defence Secretary John Hutton told Parliament that delays to the Airbus A400M cargo hauler program have prompted London to consider purchasing more Globemaster IIIs.

“We cannot accept a three- or four-year delay in the delivery of those aircraft,” Hutton said. “That would impose an unnecessary, unacceptable strain on our air assets. We, along with all our partner nations, will have to consider very carefully what the right response to the problem is.”

 Reuters has this report about Hutton's comments.

-- Marcus Weisgerber