McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $2.4-billion Air Force contract Monday to continue development of the C-17, the cargo jet program that will create an additional 2,000 jobs next year at the Long Beach-based Douglas Aircraft unit.
The contract is part of a larger $3.39-billion award that was made in January, which officially put the C-17 program into full-scale development status. The C-17 is expected to make its first flight in 1990.
Douglas officials said Monday that they expect to have about 4,000 employees on the C-17 program by the end of this year and 6,000 by the end of next year. The work force would hit 9,000 by the end of 1988.
But the peak work force will reach only 10,000, a sharp reduction from the previously planned 13,000 that the company disclosed earlier this year. Employment requirements have been reduced largely because of a decision to increase the amount of structural airframe work to be done by subcontractors.