A report by Bloomberg‘s government arm says the Defense Department‘s maintenance requirements could increase amid delays facing various military aircraft programs.
Robert Levinson, a senior defense analyst at Bloomberg Government, wrote in a blog post published Friday that the U.S. Air Force plans move the deployment of the Boeing-built KC-46 tanker aircraft from October 2018 to spring 2019.
The U.S. Navy originally scheduled the initial operational capability of the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial tanker in the mid-2020s, but the service branch’s FY 2019 budget request shows that the milestone has been pushed to 2026.
The U.S. Army‘s Future Vertical Lift helicopter program will also slow down, with the production and deployment phase moved to FY 2030 from FY 2029.
Levinson wrote that the delays will give companies more opportunities to secure maintenance work since older aircraft will likely remain operational for years.
Data from Bloomberg Government revealed that DoD spent $7.9 billion on aircraft maintenance contracts in FY 2017, with L3 Technologies as the top contractor.