"Integrating this facility and its talented employees into Boeing will strengthen the 787 programme by enabling us to accelerate productivity and efficiency improvements as we move toward production ramp-up," says Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "In addition, it will bolster our capability to develop and produce large composite structures that will contribute to the advancement of this critical technology."

After the transaction, Vought will continue its work on other Boeing programmes, including other components of the 787 aircraft, through operations located elsewhere.

"We take great pride knowing that we have been able to satisfy the technological and physical demands of the 787 programme alongside much larger companies," says Elmer Doty, president and CEO of Vought Aircraft Industries. "However, the financial demands of this programme are clearly growing beyond what a company our size can support. We are pleased that we will continue our 787 involvement at a component manufacturing level, as well as provide ongoing technical capabilities that have helped make Charleston a world-class composite facility."

Through the agreement, Boeing will acquire the North Charleston facility, its assets and inventory and will assume operation of the site, and the parties will resolve all matters related to Vought's prior work on the 787 programme. The cash consideration to be paid to Vought at closing is approximately US$580 million. Boeing will also release Vought from its obligations to repay amounts previously advanced by Boeing. Separately, Boeing entered into new agreements with Vought for work packages on the 737, 777 and 787 aircraft.

This transaction is anticipated to close in the third quarter.

Once acquired, the North Charleston facility will be managed by the 787 programme.

Boeing recently announced a further delay to the first flight of the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft because of a need to reinforce certain areas of the side-of-body section of the aircraft.