On Wednesday, it was announced that aerospace and defense leader Boeing Co. (BA - Free Report) has won a $600 million contract to design the next Air Force One presidential aircraft.
The plan calls for Boeing to begin modifying two 747-8 jetliners, with designs including a mission communication system, electrical power upgrades, a full medical facility, a self-defense system, an executive interior, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.
The Air Force currently operates two military versions of the company’s 747-200B that serve as Air Force One, but both aircraft are coming to the end of their planned 30-year usage, notes Reuters.
Most notably, though, is Boeing’s commitment to President Trump’s demands to lower the cost of Air Force One. The company is working with a program called the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization to “investigate saving opportunities during preliminary design efforts," according to a news release.
Last December, the president memorably tweeted that costs for the new Air Force One were “out of control,” threatening to cancel the program.
Today’s announcement marks the second step in Boeing’s deal to make the next presidential aircraft; the first award was for the purchase of the planes.
Upcoming contracts are expected to be awarded next summer for engineering and manufacturing development on the new Air Force One.
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