Air Force One needs new refrigerators — and they’re going to cost all of us $24 million dollars, according to a new report.
“The Air Force requires that the current air chillers in the G12 and G13 galleys be modified with new cold food stowage to improve reliability and maintainability,” a contract notice from the Defense Department states.
According to Defense One, the costly price tag is not due to unfair negotiations by Boeing, but rather the result of “bespoke equipment requirements put in place by the White House Military Office and the Air Force.”
Air Force One serves as a mobile command center for the president and must be able to carry enough food for weeks in the event of an emergency. That means the jet’s refrigerators need to be able to store about 3,000 meals to feed passengers and crew in case the plane cannot land to resupply.
There are five chillers on Air Force One that cool 26 climate-controller compartments, according to the Air Force. The two replacements, which have started to decline in quality, according to Defense One, will cool eight of those compartments.
“Although serviced on a regular basis, reliability has decreased with failures increasing, especially in hot/humid environments,” Air Force spokesman Ann Stefanek told the outlet. “The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage.”
The plane’s refrigerators date back to 1990, when the Air Force received the customized Boeing 747. The work on the new chillers is expected to be completed by October 2019.
President Donald Trump has criticized the price of Boeing’s work in recent years. In December 2016, he threatened to cancel the construction of two new 747-8 jets to serve as Air Force One, tweeting “costs are out of control.”