End of the Line

Boeing will end C-17 production in 2015 and close its C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif., after completing the 22 remaining aircraft under assembly, announced the company on Wednesday. This announcement came less than one week after Boeing delivered the Air Force’s 223rd and final C-17. “Ending C-17 production was a very difficult, but necessary decision,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security president, in the company’s Sept 18 release. “While the desire for the C-17’s capabilities is high, budgets cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open,” he said. Boeing has delivered 257 C-17s in all to date, including 34 to international customers. Seven of the 22 remaining C-17s are for India and two are for an unnamed customer. The Associated Press reported that the company has not sold the remaining 13 jets yet. Shuttering the production line will affect nearly 3,000 Boeing employees in Long Beach; Macon, Ga.; Mesa, Ariz.; and St. Louis, according to the company. Workforce reductions will begin in early 2014 and continue through closure. When factoring suppliers, the C-17 industrial base includes some 20,000 workers spread across 44 states, according to Boeing.