Boeing has delivered a fifth C-17 Globemaster strategic airlifter to the United Arab Emirates. The Middle Eastern nation has ordered six of the four-engined aircraft, the last of which will be delivered either "late June or early July," the company says.
Though the company announced the delivery on 22 May, the aircraft was technically delivered earlier in the month. The delay was necessary to complete certain modifications requested by the UAE before the jet was flown home.
Boeing still has 10 aircraft on order from India, but the company hopes to secure more orders in the future from the Middle East. As it currently stands, C-17 production will continue at the plant until the third quarter of 2014.
But the C-17 is only remaining aircraft that is still built in at Boeing's Long Beach, California, facility.
Given the high cost of operating the plant, the C-17 might be the last fixed-wing aircraft built in the state, says analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. The plant might ultimately be too costly to operate without an active C-17 production line.
But Boeing says that there are parts produced for other commercial aircraft at the facility as well as various engineering projects.