Boeing in its Third-Quarter delivery report published today said its military aircraft deliveries were down from 174 to 120 of them shipped until September 30, for both years.
The drop in figures could be due to Boeing’s suspension of production activities at some of its facilities, including Puget Sound and Moses Lake sites, starting late March to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
The company totally delivered 120 aircraft (2019: 174, 2018: 96) with AH-64 Apache gunships taking the cake. Boeing delivered 62 Apaches (18 New, 44 Remanufactured) in 2020. Last year, the figure stood at 83 while the year before that, it was just 12. The bleak figure in 2018 was attributed to a problem the U.S. Army found in the Apache, after which it refused to accept deliveries of the aircraft. The service found that the AH-64's strap pack mega-nut, which connects its rotorhead to the airframe and keeps the blades from spinning off during flight, could corrode to the point where they crack under stress after being subject to severe weather and salt in coastal areas.
Legacy Apache deliveries, including new-build and remanufactured helicopters, include 937 A-models through 1997, more than 1,000 AH-64Ds between 1997 and 2013, and more than 500 E-models since 2011.
In Q3 alone, 19 Apache helicopters were delivered to customers (7 New, 12 Remanufactured). Boeing handed over 6 CH-47 Chinook rotorcraft (4 New, 2 Remanufactured) in the third-quarter. Totally, 22 of these aircraft were delivered to customers in 2020.
India received last of its 22-ordered AH-64E Apache and 15-ordered CH-47F(I) Chinook rotorcraft this July.
The company in this year shipped three each of F-15 and F/A-18 jets, none of them in the third-quarter. The number of KC-46 tankers and P-8 delivered in 2020 is 10 (Q3:4) and 9 (Q3: 3) respectively.