EVERETT, WA-The Boeing Co. said Thursday that its exiting manufacturing complex here will be the headquarters for its 7E7 Dreamliner program and home to design and development work for the proposed midsize fuel-efficient jet. Boeing currently employs some 3,700 engineers at the Everett facility, where it currently-builds three widebody jet models. The assembly site, which Boeing has said will be in the US, has not yet been announced.

Much of the manufacturing work, meanwhile, will occur overseas, with three Japanese suppliers building upward of one-third of the aircraft–more than they ever have on previous airplanes–including wing the complex components heretofore handled largely in-house. Another 35% of the aircraft– including the vertical fin, flight deck and forward fuselage–will be manufactured in the US, at Boeing facilities in Frederickson, WA; Tulsa, OK; Wichita, KS; and other locations. Much of the rest of the aircraft’s body, about 26% of the total aircraft, will be manufactured by Alenia Aeronautica of Italy and Vought Aircraft Industries of Dallas. Decision regarding who will supply the engines and systems for the aircraft is expected in mid-2004.

Boeing is still in the process of determining where in the nation the parts will be shipped for assembly. An announcement is expected by the end of the year. The decision means 800 to 1,200 high-paying jobs to the winning city. Washington is among several states are vying for the opportunity, offering up tax-break packages and other incentives.

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