Bouchard would not discuss the unnamed international customer. Potential additional international buyers include Kuwait, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Boeing could also sell the Globemaster to a repeat customer: Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
Boeing has a post-production contract with the U.S. Air Force and will continue to evaluate C-17 tooling and work with the service on what it would like to retain for spare parts. That may enable the Air Force to one day make C-17s again. But, Bouchard notes, “No plans are in place to do that.”
Long Beach is a Boeing-owned facility, so not all closure costs will be borne by the Air Force, she says.
The Globemaster first flew in 1991 and since then has racked up more than 2.6 million flying hours. The Air Force has purchased 223 of the airlifters, and Boeing has delivered to other countries.