Just days after it delivered the last C-17 for the US Air Force, Boeing has announced the closure of its production line for the airlifter in 2015.
“Ending C-17 production was a very difficult but necessary decision,” said Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
Boeing has blamed tightening global and US defence budgets for the decision. “Our customers around the world face very tough budget environments. While the desire for the C-17’s capabilities is high, budgets cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open,” Muilenburg added. “What’s more, here in the United States the sequestration situation has created significant planning difficulties for our customers and the entire aerospace industry. Such uncertainty forces difficult decisions like this C-17 line closure. We will continue to make tough but necessary decisions to drive affordability and preserve our ability to invest for the future.”
The 22 C-17s still on the production line will be completed before nearly 3,000 workers at the main Long Beach production facility and at other locations are made redundant. Thereafter Boeing will continue after-delivery support of the worldwide C-17 fleet as part of its integrated sustainment program.
Boeing has delivered 257 C-17s, including six to the RAAF.