A Shortfall of Gravitas – Spaceflight Now
Logically, I hope, it seemed to me that one primary impediment to faster launch sequence was the practical pace of first sta ge recoveries. Thus, adding this one should allow A higher recovery capacity, therefore probably reducing launch costs and permitting faster placement for refurbishment. Once Mr. Stevens can function as planned for fairing recovery we’ll probably see about two more of those ships too.
Possibly there will be others as well, since these ships are crucial components of launch cost reduction through reusability.
SpaceX will not likely beat 30 launches for 2018. Somewhere around 24 or 25 seems likely. As of this moment, there are six Block 5 cores completed with only B1051 having the upgraded COPVs that NASA demands for Commercial Crew. The seventh B5 booster is due to appear sometime soon and SpaceX will likely have 10 altogether before the end of the year. I fully expect to see a third launch of the same booster before the end of the year with B1046 being the most likely candidate. One of the upcoming boosters will need to be the B5 FH center core for there to be another FH launch this year (Arabsat).
There are nine older launched SpaceX boosters sitting around with one (Orbcomm 2) officially and permanently on display at SpaceX's Hawthorne factory. Two more have been given to NASA and Cape Canaveral for future display. That leaves six more just sitting around awaiting use in some form or another.
Edit: It looks like the Commercial Crew delay cut into the number of launches for this year. Likely it will end up at 22. About half of those used previously flown boosters. My guess of 10 Block 5 cores is very likely going to be accurate. They have nine now with 2 1/2 months to go. SpaceX will have launched the same booster for the third time next month, likely the first B5 booster B1046.
At this moment SpaceX has only five boosters available for standard launches:
B1060 - spoken for until recovered
All except for one (B1058 May 30th) will be launched this month June 2020 - weather permitting. The shortest turnaround time for a Block 5 booster has been 2 months. Sadly, the loss of two boosters in landings earlier this year may cause some delays in upcoming Starlink launches.