Air Force Awards Design Contract for New Presidential Aircraft

Bob LeveroneUS Air Force Buying Leftover Russian Jets for President’s Ride

Bob LeveroneUS Air Force Buying Leftover Russian Jets for President’s Ride

Transaero ordered the aircraft from Boeing in 2013 but ended up going under two years later.

The Air Force announced in August that it purchased two commercial Boeing 747 jetliners to be transformed into the new Air Force One planes.

Trade publication Defense One has previously reported that the two Boeing jumbo jets were originally set for service with a now-defunct Russian airline. "I think it's ridiculous", he said.

Maj. Gen. Duke Richardson, the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization Program's executive officer, said the awarding of the contract is "the next major step forward toward ensuring an overall affordable program", the Air Force announced.

The design deal worth $600 million and awarded to Boeing stipulates the defense and aerospace giant will modify the planes' communications systems, electrical circuits, install a medical facility, create an executive suite, and add defense and autonomous ground operations capabilities, the service said in a statement.

Air Force One's fuselage can withstand a nuclear blast occurring on terra firma while at cruising altitude and features flares hidden in its wings to keep enemies guessing about its location, Business Insider reported in January.

Then-President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAir Force awards 0M contract for initial Air Force One design U.S. ambassador to UK: You'll like Trump "when you get to know him" Dems: Flynn did not disclose Middle East trip MORE slammed the cost of the Air Force One replacement program, tweeting in December to "cancel order!"

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., is officially designated as the next destination for the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus Aerial Refueling Tanker.

Latest News