Keeping the C-17 Line Open—For Now

In a meeting with Washington defense reporters yesterday, Air Force Gen. Lance Smith said he thinks NATO’s efforts to “buy into the C-17 will help keep that line open for some short period of time.” Smith serves as both NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and head of US Joint Forces Command. Smith says the NATO C-17 consortium is “workable,” and adds that he thinks, “It will be an interim solution.” However, Boeing officials, earlier this month, said that without additional US Air Force buys, the current international orders are not enough to keep the line open beyond mid-2009.