According to the Commerce Department, the Pentagon plan to curtail production of USAF C-17s at 180 aircraft and store equipment and tooling would drain about $8.4 billion from the national economy—not just Long Beach, Calif., the final assembly area. It will also cause the loss of more than 25,000 jobs nationwide. And, Commerce believes Boeing would sell its Long Beach facility within a few years, so the Pentagon would face a staggering $3.2 billion to set up production elsewhere. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the Pentagon requested the study to help determine feasibility of selling older C-17s to commercial aviation firms. An Air Force spokesman told the newspaper that the primary factor in such decisions is requirement, not economics. Lawmakers probably will argue just how much weight the Pentagon should give economics. The Senate late last year voted to sustain additional C-17 production.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.