Published On:December 7, 2016, 1:16 pm
Donald Trump wants to strike down the government’s plan to build two new Air Force One jets. On Tuesday the president-elect tweeted that the new Boeing (BA) 747 jet which is being built to carry “future presidents” costs more than a whopping $4 billion, and that he wishes to cancel the order.
His tweet was, "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!"
When asked by the media reporters about the tweet, Trump replied saying, "Well the plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion for [the] Air Force One program," he said. "And I think it's 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."
Although Trump did not mention whether why he thinks the planes will cost “more than $4 billion.” Boeing says it presently has an Air Force One contract worth $170 million.
One of the sources from the Boeing mentioned that even the company cannot predict the cost of the program at this time, as "the Pentagon has not even decided all the bells and whistles it wants on the new Air Force One."
The source further added that without knowing the complete security features, it is hard to estimate the cost and the Air force is not even sure whether it needs two or three of the planes. The Boeing official said, "We are not sure where he is getting that number from."
In the meanwhile Obama White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, "The statistics that have been cited [by Trump], shall we say, don't appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense."
Boeing, in its formal official statement said that its present contract enables it "to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States."
Since Trump’s comments were so sudden, the Boeing Company was caught off-guard and contacted the president-elect’s team moments post his tweet.
Until now the Air Force has budgeted $2.9 billion through 2021 for two new Air Force Ones. They are soon to replace the aging pair of blue, white and svelte aluminum 747-200Bs presently serving the President. Also, the new planes are estimated to be ready to fly by the end on 2022.
According to Defense Department’s budget documents, the Air Force cumulatively spent around $93 million for the preparation to build the new jets. Moreover the $93 million is incorporated in Boeing’s current contract and the production of the same is yet to begin.
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