Boeing Awarded $600 Million Contract to Design Next Air Force One

Gladys Abbott
September 14, 2017

Boeing has won $600 million modification contract for new preliminary design activity requirements on the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) Program.

The plan calls for Boeing to begin modifying two 747-8 jetliners, with designs including a mission communication system, electrical power upgrades, a full medical facility, a self-defense system, an executive interior, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.

The new Air Force One planes will replace the VC-25A aircraft now used as the presidential planes, which have been used since President George H.W. Bush's administration in 1990.

Late past year, President Trump criticized the cost of the next generation of Air Force One, tweeting in December that the $4-billion price tag to build newly designed planes based on the 747-8 for presidential use was "out of control".

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In August, the Air Force bought two commercial Boeing 747s with the intention of transforming them into the new Air Force One planes. The Air Force cited Boeing, which considered it sensitive competitive information.

That purchase followed criticism in December by then-President-elect Donald Trump about the cost of the Air Force One replacement program, and upon taking office a review was ordered to find ways to save money.

The USAF expects to award the engineering, manufacturing and development contract by summer of 2018.

Boeing said in a statement that the contract was a "great step forward on the next Air Force One". "These aircraft will provide the President of the United States with safe, reliable, and affordable air transportation equipped with all mission capabilities necessary to continuously execute the constitutional responsibilities of Commander-in-Chief, Head of State, and Chief Executive". Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

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