Message for Boeing

The Air Force appreciates that C-17 transports are selling reasonably well around the world; foreign orders have helped keep the line open by filling production slots over the years. But the Air Force won’t buy any more of them to help the industrial base. So said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff. In an interview, Schwartz said he’s aware that the Airbus A400M airlifter, which first flew in December 2009, could be canceled, but keeping C-17s in production in hopes of capturing abandoned A400M customers for Boeing isn’t affordable. “I think the question of whether A400M succeeds or not is something that Boeing executives should consider, to be sure, but I’m not expending any intellectual energy or, certainly, taxpayer’s resources on that,” said he. The Air Force, Schwartz continued, has no money to be “a global business competitor. What we want to be is a global warfighter, and that’s what we pay attention to.”