Future of Boeing F-15 jobs rides on Qatar order

The fate of the F-15 assembly line in St. Louis, and thousands of jobs tied to it, may hinge on the White House’s attitude toward a tiny oil-rich monarchy that sometimes riles its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

The Emirate of Qatar wants to buy at least 36 of the air-superiority jets, and possibly 72, but the purchase has been held up for two years as the Defense Department and Obama administration ponder whether to allow it.

The issue is entangled in the shifting geopolitics and strained alliances of the Middle East, along with Israel’s concern that the sale may shrink its military advantage.

Boeing is now busy building F-15s for Saudi Arabia and has enough work to keep the line running to 2019. Absent new orders, the line will shut down then.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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