MIAMI — President-elect Donald Trump called on Tuesday for the US government to cancel a deal with Boeing for development of a new Air Force One, citing project costs.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Trump said in his tweet.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Back in January 2015, the Air Force announced that the Boeing 747-8 was selected as the replacement platform for the current Air Force One, a military variant of the Boeing 747-200 model.
“The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America and the office of the president of the United States,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in a statement at the time.
The new plane, which the Defense Department had expected to deliver by 2023, would have a better performance, range and state-of-the art technology.
While Boeing didn’t mention Mr. Trump’s tweet, it said it remained committed to proceeding with the upgrade to Air Force One.
“We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States. We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer,” the company said in a statement.
Last July, Boeing said in a regulatory filing that it might stop production of the 747, ending nearly a half-century of building the plane, delivering over 1,500 aircraft since 1970, when the company introduced the plane. A recent order for 14 747-8 freighters for UPS, extended the production at the current rate of six aircraft per year by more than two years.
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