Boeing IDS and the backlog blues

Losing the massive KC-X order exposed already creeping concerns about a barren backlog for Boeing’s military division.

Using my company’s Milicas database, I tracked exactly how many fixed-wing aircraft orders remain in Boeing’s pipeline. The results, as you’ll see, clearly reveal that the clock is ticking on Boeing Integrated Defense Systems to do … well, something.

Here’s the order backlog, excluding helicopters:

F/A-18 = 275 (US Navy 251, RAAF 24)
P-8M = 108
F-15E = 54 (Korea 30*, Singapore 24)
C-17A = 27 (USAF 19, Canada 2, NATO 4**, RAF 2)
737 Wedgetail = 10 (RAAF 6, Turkey 4)
KC-767 = 7 (Italy 4, JASDF 3)

(* includes pending order for 20)
(** includes pending order for 4)

As it stands, Boeing’s only fixed-wing military aviation product continuing in production beyond 2013 is the 737-based P-8.

In the near term, Boeing is competing for new contracts to build the Broad Area Maritime Surviellance UAS (but with the Gulfstream G550), and a P-8 derivative for the USN’s EP-X requirement. The P-8 also is competing for a contract with the Indian Navy.

In the longer-term, Boeing is partnered with Lockheed Martin to compete against Northrop Grumman for the next-generation bomber, notionally to be delivered after 2018.

Boeing also is hoping to keep production alive at least a few years longer for the C-17, F-15 and F-18, tapping both domestic and international customers.

[UPDATE: Matt comments that the list above excludes South Korea's order for four 737 AEW&C aircraft, and he is correct! So add those to the list. The last one is scheduled for delivery in 2012. The same aircraft type also is competing for military orders in India and the UAE.]

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2 Responses to Boeing IDS and the backlog blues

  1. Matt 24 March, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Didn’t Boeing also sell the 737 AEW&C to South Korea? Boeing’s website claims 14 total. That doesn’t really diminish your overall point though.

  2. Mike Plunkett 25 March, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    Does the F/A-18 total include the 90-odd EA-18Gs on order for the US Navy? Might have to add a few more on top of that to take into account interest from the Aussies (although they may swap some of their F/A-18Fs for Gs – assuming they order the Growlers at all).

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