Donald Trump has said that the government should cancel its order with Boeing for a brand-new version of Air Force One.
Complaining about the “out of control” costs – upward of $4 billion, he said – the White House should not order the new aircraft.
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
“The plane is totally out of control,” Trump said after the tweet in brief remarks in the lobby of Trump Tower, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. “I think its ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.”
The current Air Force One and Air Force Two have been used since the Reagan Administration. The modified 747s are expected to reach the end of their planned 30-year life in 2017.
One year ago, Boeing secured a contract from the Pentagon to begin development on the new 747-8 jumbo jets to replace the aging planes. The deal includes “presidential-level” modifications – such as enhanced communication equipment and anti-missile devices.
However, Boeing has yet to actually build the planes. The Air Force said they might even need a third aircraft.
The Air Force earmarked $1.65 billion between 2015 and 2019 for two replacement jets, but hasn’t detailed the expected cost or delivery dates for the replacement planes. The Air Force had previously said it was looking to introduce the planes in 2021.
There are specific rules about how the U.S. negotiates with federal contractors, but Boeing relies on U.S. government business for sizable sales. The Pentagon generated sales of $18.8 billion for Boeing’s defense arm in 2015, according to its annual report. This excludes foreign sales brokered by the defense department. Boeing was the U.S. government’s second biggest federal contractor last year behind Lockheed Martin Corp., according to federal procurement data.
The Pentagon said that while Boeing was the sole bidder to build the planes, other companies would be able to compete for maintenance and upgrade work.
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