Two Boeing 747-8 commercial jetliners once owned by defunct Russian airline Transaero will receive hundreds of millions of dollars worth of design upgrades before eventually becoming the U.S. president's personal ride, Air Force One.
The contract, which would be under $600 million, includes the design to incorporate a mission communication system, electrical power upgrades, a medical facility and a self-defense system, the Air Force said.
The USAF will replace two 747-200-based VC-25As delivered in 1991 with two 747-8s originally built for Russian carrier Transaero, which filed for bankruptcy in 2015 before it could take delivery.
The Air Force announced in August that it purchased two commercial Boeing 747 jetliners to be transformed into the new Air Force One planes. Both are nearing the end of their planned 30-year life.
"Following the award of the contract to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft, this contract award is committed to working with Boeing to ensure the [Presidential Airlift Recapitalization] program meets the presidential airlift mission requirements", Maj.
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"The plane is totally out of control, it's going to be over $4 billion", Trump said in December. Gen. Duke Richardson said in a September 13 statement, "as well as the president's affordability expectations".
Work on the aircraft is expected to begin next summer and be ready to serve as Air Force One starting in 2024.
The $600-million award is just one portion of the Air Force One contracts.
In January, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAir Force awards 0M contract for initial Air Force One design The US and Europe demonstrating unity on energy security Defense chief visiting US nuclear base amid tensions with N. Korea MORE ordered a review of the program to find cost-saving measures.
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