June 11, 2010
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
NEW DELHI - With financial resources scarce, many Asian countries have been receptive to Boeing’s idea of forming a consortium for its C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft similar to the one implemented by NATO, although it is likely to take a couple of years to work out the details, according to the company.
Within NATO, 12 nations share three C-17s based in Hungary. “It is somewhat like a timeshare,” says Tommy Dunehew, vice president of global mobility systems for Boeing. Participating countries are allocated flight hours according to their participation.
The 12 nations are Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden,and the U.S.
However, selling the idea to Asian countries is a bit more complicated than for Europe. While bilateral agreements exist among nations, there are no multilateral agreements.
“We are talking to major players,” Dunehew says. “Many Asian countries we spoke to like the idea, but it will depend on the structure that is accepted. [Perhaps] it could be under the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] umbrella.” He adds that Boeing was in talks with NATO for two years and it took a couple of years to work out the details; he expects it will be similar for Asia.