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US Air Force awards Boeing C-17A large sustainment contract

A USAF C-17A seen in 2016. The service has awarded Boeing a contract potentially worth USD24 billion for the C-17A sustainment programme. (US Air National Guard)

The US Air Force on 27 September awarded Boeing a performance-based logistics (PBL) contract worth USD3.5 billion for the C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft sustainment programme, according to a Pentagon statement.

The overall contract, which has a nine-year, eight-month period of performance, has a total potential value of USD24 billion. Boeing said in a 29 September statement that this initial contract runs through September 2024.

Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, told Janes on 4 October that with this contract the USAF is trying to maximise the availability of its airlifters. The USAF's strategic airlift fleet, which includes the C-17A and the Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy, has been reduced in size substantially since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s. The service's logistical demands have also increased with an emphasis on just-in-time logistics.

Boeing, which developed the C-17A, will continue performing sustainment activities including engineering, field support, and material management, for the global fleet of 275 aircraft. The company has been under contract for PBL support of the C-17A fleet since 1998. The contract covers global C-17A operators including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the NATO Airlift Management Program Office, India, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.

The USAF sole sourced this contract to Boeing. The award consists of three 12 month ordering periods, two 37-month options, and a six-month option to extend services.

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