After 18-month talks, the Pentagon signed a deal with Boeing on the building of two jumbo jets for Air Force One. The contract cost was $ 3.9 billion.
Given the inflation and current costs, the contract cost was $ 1 billion less than originally planned by the Pentagon, The Wall Street Journal wrote referring to sources familiar with the. Under the $ 3.9 billion deal, the aircraft must be delivered before December 2024.
The White House said that the new agreement with Boeing would save $ 1.4 billion in taxpayer money, Reuters reported, but could not confirm the figure.
The two presidential Boeing-747 Air Force One currently in service need to be replaced as their maintenance is getting too expensive. The decision to order new aircraft was made under the previous President Barack Obama.
However, after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump criticized this deal over the price of the contract. “Boeing built two 747-8s out of an order of four. … One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Trump twitted out back then.
A source familiar with the negotiations said that Boeing offered the US Air Force, which operates presidential aircraft, a substantial discount on the sticker price ($ 387 million for each aircraft). The amount of the discount was not disclosed. In addition, the White House and the secret service to reduce costs have changed the specs for the aircraft.
Boeing is the only contender for the construction of Air Force One, as only the 747 model meets all the requirements for such vessels and is produced in the United States.
New presidential aircraft will be painted in red, white and blue.