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India $4 bn order a lifeline for Boeing plant

India $4 bn order a lifeline for Boeing plant

India on Monday gave its go-ahead to purchase 10 C-17 heavy-lift military aircraft in a deal worth $4.1 billion, the biggest defence deal between India and the US.

India's $4.1 billion shopping spree of 10 Boeing C-17 military cargo aircraft will support jobs at the aircraft major's beleaguered California plant, which has received a boost with the new order, a Boeing official said.

The deal should keep things humming at the sprawling plant in Long Beach, California through 2014, Boeing spokesman Jerry Drelling said in a Los Angeles Times report.

Drelling said the order "helps us keep the line alive and supports jobs".

Boeing is the largest employer in Long Beach near Los Angeles. The plane has an estimated $5.8 billion annual economic impact and the jobs of about 25,000 workers in 44 states depend on it, Drelling said.

India on Monday gave its go-ahead to purchase 10 C-17 heavy-lift military aircraft in a deal worth $4.1 billion.

The deal with Boeing is the biggest defence deal between India and the US.

"We are still waiting on the signatures, but the deal is 99.9 per cent done," the LA Times report quoted Stan Klemchuk, president of the United Aerospace Workers Local 148, which represents 1,600 workers at the Boeing factory.

"Folks are buzzing in Long Beach. It gives us one more year of work and could not come at a better time".

In January, Boeing had said it would cut 900 of the 3,700 jobs at the plant.

Last year, due to slowing orders from the Pentagon, Boeing had said it would cut production rates by one-third to 10 aircraft a year from 15.