Parting Gift?

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Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

There's a pot of gold at the end of the C-17 production rainbow...

Having flown on the C-17 many times, Battleland knows it’s a good airplane. Production of the cargo aircraft for the U.S. Air Force is all but done; the Pentagon stopped listing it in its regular cost reports back in 2009. That final Selected Acquisition Report to include the Globemaster said the Pentagon would be paying nearly $70 billion for 223 of the Boeing (née McDonnell Douglas) planes (although a 224th was added last month to replace one that crashed in 2010). That works out to about $300 million per plane.

Not sure if that includes the little going-away present tucked into Friday’s Pentagon contract list: a cool $500 million – that’s a half-billion dollars — for the “C-17 transition to post production, which will provide for the orderly transfer of C-17 production assets.” Wonder how much cheaper a disorderly transfer would be…