Boeing and British Aerospace are discussing the UK company's involvement in the proposed supply of six Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft to the Royal Air Force. The nature of the negotiations is unclear, but the agreement could include offset work and maintenance.

The Government is considering strategic airlift as part of its Strategic Defence Review, and the RAF is keen to operate the C-17. With extreme pressure on funding, a lease arrangement is being viewed as the most likely route for operation of the aircraft.

The C-17 would be used to complement the RAF's Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, used in the tactical transport role. Introducing the C-17 into the RAF inventory would further damage hopes that it will procure the European Future Large Aircraft.

BAe declines to comment on the negotiations.

Source: Flight International