LONG BEACH (CBS/AP) — An agreement ordering Boeing Co. to build cargo planes for the government of India was finalized on Wednesday, a deal that could offer a lifeline to manufacturing jobs here in the Southland.

India’s defense ministry signed an agreement formally approving purchase of 10 of Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III cargo and troop-carrying planes, making India the biggest foreign buyer of the aircraft.

The planes are expected to be delivered to India’s air force in 2013 and 2014 after Congress approved the sale last year.

Boeing officials have said the order will save jobs and extend the life of a Long Beach plant where the planes are assembled.

Boeing has delivered 232 C-17s, including 210 with the U.S. Air Force and 22 with foreign buyers, among them the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Qatar.

Boeing’s stock fell 79 cents to $73.85 Wednesday.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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