Military Aviation

Several customers are interested in restarting C-17 Globemaster III production, Boeing says

C-17 Globemaster III production

A Boeing senior official recently said that almost half a decade after it delivered its last new-build C-17, the company still receives enquiries about potentially reviving production of the strategic transport.

As reported by Flight Global, due to lack of orders, Boeing decided in 2013 to end production and completed output at its at Long Beach, California final assembly facility by building several “white tails” ahead of securing contracts from customers. The last example was transferred to the Indian air force in August 2019.

Customers interested in restarting C-17 Globemaster III production

Boeing’s vice-president and general manager services Torbjorn Sjogren said at the World Defense Show near Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 5, 2024 that “There are a number of other customers who wish they had acquired it at the time.”

“The C-17 is a product that does come up quite often. If we still had a lukewarm production line there are a number of customers who have expressed interest,” he explained.

“There are discussions periodically about could you restart the line, where would you restart the line, what would it cost. We go through those reviews, but restarting a production line that has been dormant for quite some time is extremely expensive,” Sjogren added.

“To get new aircraft like that into the market is going to take some time,” he explained.

P-8A Poseidon could be the next C-17

Sjogren said that, thanks to the support of the type via a global performance-based logistics deal provided by Boeing, the mission readiness of the operational C-17 fleet “is amongst the highest in the world.”

Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (three of the six Gulf Cooperation Council member nations) operate the C-17. As told by Sjogren Saudi Arabia also came “very close” to confirming an order prior to production ending.

Noteworthy the company’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft could be “the next C-17:” in fact Vince Logsdon, Boeing Defense Space & Security vice-president risk of potential customers missing out when production of the 737NG-based model comes to an end.

The C-17 Globemaster III

The C-17 Globemaster III made its maiden flight on Sep. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, now identified as Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, on Jun. 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995. The Air Force originally programmed to buy 120 C-17s. Due to the unrivaled success of the C-17 to accomplish various mobility missions, additional aircraft were acquired, resulting in a final fleet of 223 aircraft.

The C-17 is operated by Air Mobility Command from Travis AFB, California; Dover AFB, Delaware. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Joint Base Charleston, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Pacific Air Forces operates C-17s from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

The Air National Guard operates C-17s from Jackson, Mississippi, Stewart ANG Base, New York, Memphis, Tennessee, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Air Force Reserve Command operates C-17s at March Air Reserve Base, California, and Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Air Force Materiel Command has one C-17 on loan from JB Charleston, S.C., to conduct tests at Edwards AFB, California.

Air Education and Training Command performs C-17 aircrew training from Altus AFB, Oklahoma.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-17A Globemaster III 60th Air Mobility Wing / 349th Air Mobility Wing, 21st Airlift Squadron, 06-6160 – Travis AFB, CA

Photo credit: Boeing

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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