Boeing Reduces C-17 Production Rate

Boeing will complete the transition to its new C-17 production rate—10 aircraft a year—by this summer, company officials announced Thursday. This planned reduction, announced last February, is meant to extend the production line beyond 2012 as the company looks to secure additional international orders. However, it will result in the elimination of a second shift, between 900 and 1,100 jobs, at the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif. Another 200 reductions will impact employees in Macon, Ga., Mesa, Ariz., and St. Louis, according to Boeing’s release. “This has been a very difficult decision, no question about it,” said Bob Ciesla, C-17 program manager. Boeing plans to deliver 13 C-17s in 2011—down one aircraft from the 2010 delivery rate—as it moves toward the 10-per-year pace. So far, the company has delivered 226 C-17s worldwide, including 206 to the Air Force.