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01:50 PM, January 9, 2019
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F-15 fighter jet (Image: Boeing)

Boeing has experienced a decline in deliveries of its defense products in 2018 compared to the previous two years.

The company delivered 17 F/A-18 fighter jets in 2018 in comparison to 25 and 23 units in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The company also reported decline in the deliveries of its frontline F-15 fighter jets, whose deliveries declined to 10 units in 2018 from 16 in 2017 and 15 in 2016, according to a press statement by Boeing Wednesday regarding deliveries during 2018 and statements of deliveries during previous years.

Other models, namely CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopter models and P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft models have also shown a decline in the number of deliveries in 2018. Boeing delivered 25 new Chinook helicopters in 2016 which was down to 11 in 2017 and rose to 13 in 2018. Regarding its highly revered Apache attack helicopter, it delivered 31 new Apache choppers in 2016 which came down to 11 in 2017 and the figure for 2018 is nil. Deliveries of the P8 maritime patrol aircraft were at 18, 19 and 16 respectively during each of the past 3 years.

However, the prospects for the F/A-18 Super Hornets look bright thanks to orders for some 46 aircraft from Kuwait and the US Department of Defense (DoD). In June 2018, the DoD awarded Boeing an order for 28 Super Hornets that include 22 single-seat and six two-seater fighter jets for the government of Kuwait worth $1.5 billion. The deliveries are expected to be completed by 2021. The 2019 National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) funding gives the US Navy multiyear procurement authority to buy 24 F/A-18E/F for up to 3 years for an approximate $1.97 billion.

Boeing has orders for Chinook (15 for India) and Apache helicopters (22 for India and 24 for Qatar).

The F-15 fighter jet, considered on its way out received a shot in the arm thanks to an order from Qatar for 36 aircraft worth $12 billion with an option for 26 more signed in 2016. Deliveries are to commence from 2021.

In comparison, Boeing’s US rival, Lockheed Martin has an order backlog of 225 F-35 jets and an approximate 200 F-16 Block 70 aircraft orders from different countries. Lockheed Martin also has three F-16V upgrade programs on contract with a total of 325 aircraft.

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