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Boeing Awarded Contract to Start Designing Next Air Force One Planes

Image: Boeing Awarded Contract to Start Designing Next Air Force One Planes
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By    |   Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 01:14 PM

The Air Force announced it has awarded a $600 million contract to Boeing for "preliminary design efforts" on the new Air Force One planes, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Duke Richardson, the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization Program's executive officer, said the awarding of the contract is "the next major step forward toward ensuring an overall affordable program," the Air Force announced.

In August, the Air Force bought two commercial Boeing 747s with the intention of transforming them into the new Air Force One planes. The aircraft were purchased at a discounted price from a now-defunct Russian airlines which never had possession of them, Defense One reported.

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.

Work on the aircraft is expected to begin next summer and be ready to serve as Air Force One starting in 2024.

The Air Force said the $600 million contract will cover the costs of redesigning the interior and avionics of the airplanes, upgrading communications and electrical power systems, adding a medical facility, an executive interior, and a self-defense system.

One cost-cutting decision as the new Air Force One planes will not have the capability of mid-air refueling as a way to cut costs, according to the Washington Examiner.

The current Air Force One aircraft have this capability, but Pentagon officials say it has never been used.

There also were other cost-cutting measures implemented, including reducing the fleet from three to two aircraft, an official told the Examiner.

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The Air Force announced it has awarded a $600 million contract to Boeing for "preliminary design efforts" on the new Air Force One planes, The Hill reported on Wednesday.
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Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 01:14 PM
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