Boeing won a $3.5 billion deal
for the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Program. The contract will provide support and sustainment services to the government product support manager/product support integrator for the C-17
weapon system. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, NATO Airlift Management Program Office, India, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Support includes: program management; sustaining logistics; material and equipment management; sustaining engineering; quality assurance; depot level aircraft maintenance and modifications; F117 propulsion system management; long-term sustainment planning; field services, unique foreign military customer services and Air Logistics Center partnering support for the worldwide fleet of the C-17 aircraft. Estimated completion date is May 30, 2031.
The C-17 has had more money-driven last hurrahs than The Who. Even so, FY 2010 featured the USAF’s last planned orders of C-17 Globemaster III short field, heavy-lift transport jets.
The Pentagon had been trying to end the program for years, but 3 factors led Congress to keep adding new C-17s to the budget, year after year: (1) deep doubts about the premises, pre-9/11 vintage, and quality of the Pentagon’s mobility studies; (2) uncertainty concerning the C-5 Galaxy super-heavy transport’s upgrade programs; and (3) a fleet wear tempo much higher than originally forecast, driven by constant requests from theater for C-17s.
All things end, and there were no new C-17s bought in the FY 2011 or FY 2012 budgets. That would leave the USA with a total ordered fleet of 223, once they’re all under contract. At long last, they are.