President Donald Trump arrives at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, aboard Air Force One on April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Air Force One contract granted to Boeing

The Air Force has awarded Boeing a $600 million contract to design modifications for two commercial Boeing 747-8 aircraft slated to become the next Air Force One fleet.

The work will include the design of a communication system, upgraded electrical power, a medical facility, and self-defense and autonomous ground operations capabilities, among other changes, according to the Air Force.

The program office, managed by a two-star general, has about 100 employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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The two aircraft, once slated for a now defunct Russian airline but never delivered, are scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in 2024. The jumbo jets will replace two Boeing 747-200 jetliners, known as VC-25s in the Air Force that fly in the presidential air fleet.

The Air Force has not revealed the price paid for the two new jetliners, citing competitive reasons, but has said it received the planes at a discounted price.

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President Donald Trump has slammed the cost of a new Air Force One, saying it had a more than $4 billion price tag, and called for its cancellation in December prior to assuming the presidency.

Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, who told reporters in January the aerospace giant would simplify and streamline requirements “all of which leads to a better airplane at a lower cost.”

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