Boeing wins almost $600-million contract for Air Force One preliminary design

The U.S. Air Force said it awarded Boeing a $600 million contract modification on September 12 to design a new Air Force One configuration on two commercial Boeing 747-8s.

The Air Force said the $600 million contract will cover the costs of redesigning the interior and avionics of the airplanes, upgrading communications and electrical power systems, adding a medical facility, an executive interior, and a self-defense system.

While the Air Force originally planned to begin basing the new tankers - highly modified Boeing-767 aircraft - in North Carolina as soon as 2019, aircraft delivery is now subject to when KC-46A prime contractor Boeing delivers the new aircraft.

On August 1, Sputnik reported the US Air Force was on track to purchase the pair of jets for a almost 50 percent discount as President Donald Trump seeks to trim costs for Air Force One.

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 plane is totally out of control, it's going to be over $4 billion", Trump said in December.

The USAF expects to award the engineering, manufacturing and development contract by summer of 2018.

According to the White House, it is common to refer to the two huge 747s designed for the president's unique needs as Air Force One, but technically "Air Force One" "can describe any Air Force aircraft carrying the President".

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said the service, which in October 2015 the base as the preferred location for the KC-46As, notified North Carolina lawmakers that the decision is now final.

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