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Boeing notifying suppliers of pending C-17 line halt
Boeing has announced plans to begin shutting down the line for its C-17 aircraft unless it gets a commitment from the U.S. Air Force or another foreign air service for the purchase of 10 C-17 aircraft. If the company doesn’t receive even a verbal commitment for the cargo planes within the next week or so, it will be forced to notify long-lead suppliers to halt work on them and then negotiate with those subcontractors on what should be done with the work that’s been completed so far, company officials said. Boeing Vice President Dave Bowman said the company is “at that point now that we have to make the tough decision.” Boeing has been warning for more than a year that it needs that commitment for the C-17 production line to continue. The company has been working on 22 aircraft, mostly on speculation, at company expense. It has commitments for 12 of those aircraft – four each for Australia and Canada, one for the UK and three for either NATO or the U.S. Air Force. Analysts said the move by Boeing is an attempt to force the U.S. government to commit to the planes now.