Boeing is working on the sale of the 12 final C-17 strategic transport aircraft, but says its joint marketing with Embraer on the KC-390 programme is taking longer than expected.

When asked about the final 12 examples from the C-17 line, Chris Chadwick, president and chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, reiterated that the company is working on selling them, but did not provide specifics.

“We’re pretty bullish on those airplanes,” he says. “There are some existing customers we’re in dialogue with and Middle East customers that have interest in C-17s. India has also stated that they would like additional C-17s. We firmly believe we’ll have no difficulty selling those C-17s.”

Chadwick made the comments in Singapore last week on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogues event. His comments followed Boeing’s 8 April announcement that it will bring forward the closure of the C-17’s Long Beach product line to mid-2015, three months earlier than expected.

Boeing has delivered more than 260 C-17s since production of the four-engined airlifter began in the early 1990s. The US Air Force ordered 224 to replace about 285 Lockheed C-141 Starlifters.

It has also signed contracts with Australia (6), Canada (4), India (10), Kuwait (2), Qatar (4), the United Arab Emirates (6), the UK (8) and a coalition including NATO members, plus Finland and Sweden (3). One further example is listed as destined for an undisclosed customer by Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

Numerous nations, including existing C-17 operators, plus Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have previously been considered as potential buyers for the remaining 12 aircraft.

Chadwick also indicated that there are some delays in the joint marketing agreement for the KC-390 tactical transport that Boeing and Embraer signed at last year’s Paris air show.

“I’ve spoken with Embraer leadership within the last six weeks,” he says.

“It’s probably moving slower than either of us would like it to move, but the partnership is very strong and we still see a large demand for the KC-390 worldwide. Embraer has a lot of capability and we’ve had discussions about how that partnership might evolve as we go forward.”

Under the deal signed at Paris, Boeing will lead sales, sustainment and training for the type in the US, UK, and "select Middle East markets."