Costly Foot-Dragging on Mobility

The Pentagon’s slowness in finalizing its latest Mobility Capabilities Study has a real dollars-and-cents cost. “A lot of suppliers are done” with work on the 180th and last C-17 under the existing multi-year contract, according to Boeing’s Ron Marcotte. Boeing is fronting the expense of keeping the subs going, waiting for decisions to flow from the MCS. However, if the multiyear contract lapses, the cost per airplane will go up “at least 10 percent per jet,” Marcotte said. That’s about $20 million apiece. Marcotte said USAF has asked for pricing of C-17s built at a rate of 15 per year—the current, and optimal, pace—as well as eight per year. Boeing has delivered about 140 C-17s so far.