Boeing will deliver 13 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters in 2011 as part of its strategy to move to a new production rate of ten C-17s a year.

The move to the new production rate will be complete by the middle of 2011 and will result in the elimination of the second shift at the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach.

The lower production rate has been designed to extend the line as the company is considering capturing additional international orders.

Boeing delivered 14 C-17s in 2010.

The C-17, which is in its 18th year of service, has supported important military transport, humanitarian and disaster-relief missions across the world.

The C-17 has achieved two million total flight hours in December, less than five years after it passed the one-million-flight-hour mark in March 2006.