C-17s for Qatar

The Qatar Armed Forces have agreed to buy an undisclosed number of new-build C-17s in a Foreign Military Sale announced yesterday by Boeing. The company said the deal signed yesterday would see deliveries begin in summer 2009. The number of aircraft is likely to be two, given a July 11 Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification to Congress of a possible deal to sell two C-17s to Qatar, plus training and logistics, for up to $400 million. Boeing is under contract to deliver 190 C-17s to the US Air Force, of which 175 have been delivered, and is in negotiations on the 15 additional aircraft approved in the war supplemental appropriations bill. Boeing has sold six C-17s to Britain, four to Australia, and four to Canada; NATO is considering purchase of several of the airlifters. Japan is also reported to be interested in buying the aircraft, as are other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East.