Canada gets USAF slots for August delivery after signing for four Boeing C-17s in 20-year C$4bn deal, settles provincial workshare squabble

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Boeing signed a deal on Friday with the Canadian government for four C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, and has reportedly acquired production slots reserved for the US Air Force to ensure delivery starting in the third quarter.

The deal also signifies the Canadian government has settling a dispute with the Quebec provincial government over workshare.

The Boeing contract with the Canadian defence ministry, which is part of a broader 20-year C$4 billion ($3.4 billion) procurement, parts and maintenance contract, does not include production of the Pratt & Whitney 180kN (40,440lb-thrust) turbofans. Both Boeing and P&W had agreed to invest the value of the order into Canada, with Quebec majority party, Bloc Québécois, arguing for Quebec as the country's aerospace hub, to pick up the majority of the spoils. Other provinces had initially argued for a greater share of the eventual workshare agreement and the dispute had threatened to derail the order.

Boeing is expected to detail the breakdown in coming weeks. Industry minister Maxime Bernier says Boeing has already worked out C$577 million in contracts with Canadian firms.

To recoup the delay caused by the provincial squabbling, Canada has negotiated with Washington, DC, to inherit four of the USAF delivery slots, starting in August, with a second by the end of the year and the last two coming in the middle of next year. "The United States air force, which has a fairly large order in train at the moment, has allowed us to step into the assembly line so we will get the aircraft quickly," Canadian defence minister Gordon O’Connor told the country's media.

Boeing says the new orders had "already been factored into" its C-17 production schedule.