Boeing reported $23.9 billion in sales during the third quarter of 2016, which marks an eight percent decline compared to 2015, according to the company’s third-quarter results released Wednesday. Boeing’s defense business saw a 10 percent decline in sales despite a new $2.8 billion US contract for KC-46 production and UK contracts for 50 Apache helicopters and nine P-8 naval aircraft. Growth in Boeing’s defense sector came primarily in its Global Services and Support division, which saw “higher volume in aircraft modernization and sustainment and training systems and government services.” Boeing said its results indicated “overall solid execution.” On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, CEO Dennis Muilenburg expressed confidence in the balance of the company’s defense business. While Boeing “will be aggressive to win” upcoming competitions for the Air Force’s T-X trainer, the recapitalization of the JSTARS surveillance aircraft, and the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent system, he said, “the future of our defense business is not dependent on any one program.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.