Put Up or Shut Up

It’s time again for Boeing to wake up the Air Force to commit to buying additional C-17 airlifters or watch the production line close down. Last fall, the company told the service that it had to see something concrete in the Fiscal 2008 defense budget—and that didn’t happen. Now, Boeing says it “is stopping procurement of parts for any new C-17s not under contract or firmly committed,” which it calls the “first step in an orderly shut down of the production supply chain.” The company plans to begin cutting its workforce early next year and close the production line in mid-2009.