Boeing is negotiating with the US Air Force over a potential C-17 follow-on, third, multi-year procurement (MYP) for 42 more aircraft. If sanctioned, the contract would increase the US-operated fleet to 222 and extend production to 2010.

The company is "on the verge" of securing the deal for another 60 aircraft under the second MYP, taking USAF orders to 180 aircraft. "We envisage another batch beyond the 180 and we are talking about a total of around 222 aircraft," says BoeingC-17 business development manager Chris Raymond. "We are starting to think about another 42 aircraft, plus future airlift requirements that may translate into more aircraft, which could be C-17s or [Lockheed Martin] C-5s, as well as potentially more international C-17s and BC-17X freighters."

Boeing is in the sixth year of MYP1, which covers 80 C-17s, and concludes next year. The first MYP2 aircraft will be produced next year with seven C-17s due to be built to sustain the 15-aircraft a year assembly rate. This rate would be maintained until 2009 if another 42 aircraft are ordered, says Boeing, after which production would reduce to a final five aircraft in 2010.

The USAF and Boeing are discussing a possible lease of four additional 737-based C-40B/Cs to augment three aircraft on order.

Source: Flight International