Boeing to Sell C-17 Cargo Airplanes to Australia

The U. S. Defense Department has approved the sale to Australia of up to four Boeing C-17 cargo planes, up to four AN/AAQ-24 infrared countermeasures systems (manufactured by Northrop Grumman), and up to 18 F-177 Pratt & Whitney engines. The deal is worth up to two billion dollars. It will not be final until Congress approves, though it is expected to happen.

The aircraft will provide Australia with heavy airlift capability which until now has been provided by contractors using Russian aircraft or by the United States Air Force.

By the spring of 2008, Boeing will deliver the last C-17 of a 180-plane order to the U.S. Air Force. Boeing has said that if the Air Force does not order additional C-17s, they may have to cease production of the aircraft. The proposed sale to Australia may extend production for several months.