The Pentagon stated the two Boeing 747-8 aircrafts are to be delivered mission-ready by December 2024.
As per a news brief by the Pentagon, Boeing Co has been awarded a contract worth $3.9 billion to build 2 747-8 aircrafts for the use the U.S. president as Air Force One. The due date for delivery has been set to December 2024.
The Pentagon clarified that this is essentially an expansion of an earlier contract to design, modify and delivery two mission-ready presidential 747-8 aircrafts.
The contract followed the outlines of the informal deal reached between the White House and Boeing in February 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier objected to the $4 billion price tag of the previous Air Force One deal and had posted a tweet on Twitter saying “costs are out of control” and “Cancel order!”
In February, the White House had the new deal would save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion. Following the Pentagon’s announcement, these cost savings could not be independently confirmed.
According to budget documents released in February 2018 for fiscal year 2019, the budget for the 2 aircrafts were set to $3.9 billion. The same 2018 budget document, not adjusted for inflation, showed the price at $3.6 billion.
Incidentally, the Air Force One Boeing 747-8s planes have to be designed such that they are to be an airborne White House in the worst-case security scenarios, which includes a nuclear war; the planes are modified and equipped to carry military avionics, self-defense systems and advanced communications.
According to a congressional official briefed on the matter, the deal has not undergone any significant changes from the informal agreement reached in February.