A new version of the Boeing 737-700 has been selected over the Boeing MD-90-30ER to replace the US Navy's McDonnell Douglas C-9s.

Boeing was awarded an initial $111 million for two aircraft, to be delivered by December 2001. The company could replace up to 27 C-9Bs operated by the USN Reserve for the Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift mission.

The aircraft, known as the 737-700 Increased Gross Weight Quick Change, will transport passengers and cargo pallets. It will be fitted with a freighter-style cargo door forward of a modified wing, which will have new slats and continuous-span double-slotted flaps.

Boeing has been looking at a Quick Change version of the 737-700 for the civil market. Despite the similarities with the aircraft destined for the USN, the company says that it still has not launched the civil programme.

Source: Flight International