Boeing Wins $600 Million Contract to Design Air Force One

When President Donald Trump took office, he made it clear that he wanted to cut costs for the next generation of Air Force One, the primary presidential aircraft.

That effort is well underway, according to announcements made this week.

Boeing announced on Tuesday that it has been awarded an almost $600 million contract for the preliminary design of the next Air Force One. The contract stipulates that the aerospace giant will create design that incorporates a mission control system, medical facility, electrical power upgrades, self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities into two already-built commercial 747-8 planes.

It’s a “great step forward on the next Air Force One,” Boeing said in a statement.

The new models will replace the VC-25A models currently in use. Those aircraft have been in service since 1990, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. The 747-8 promises 16 tons less carbon emissions per trip over the 727-200 and has an extended range that allows trips from Washington to Hong Kong—7,730 nautical miles—without a layover. It’s also the fastest commercial jet in the world with speeds of 0.855 Mach.

In January Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said the company was making “great progress on simplifying requirements for Air Force One” in the wake of Trump’s cost complaints. The President—who arrived in office already a Boeing customer, having acquired a 1991 757-200 as a citizen and remodeled it to include a dining room, televisions, master and guest bedrooms, and a shower—originally called its costs “out of control.”

Correction, Sept. 17, 2017: An earlier version of this article misstated the model year of Trump’s aircraft and the model number of the current Air Force One.

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