White House inks $3.9-bn deal with Boeing to get two new Air Force Ones

Washington: The US administration has reached a $3.9 billion deal with Boeing for two new Air Force One planes for the President, the White House said.

President Donald Trump has reached the informal deal with Boeing on a “fixed-price contract” for the new Air Force One Program, Xinhua quoted a White House spokesperson as saying on Tuesday.

The contract would save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, the White House said. The amount, however, cannot be confirmed yet.

Boeing said in a tweet on Tuesday that it was “proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American presidents with a flying…outstanding value to taxpayers”.

The Chicago-based jet maker added that Trump “negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people”.

Trump’s personal involvement in the deal since his election has brought the years-long negotiations between Boeing and the US Air Force much media exposure.

Trump had earlier threatened to cancel the contract after revealing that Boeing was planning to spend $4 billion on the planes, a price, he said was “out of control”. Boeing pledged to control expenditures at the time.

The US presidential planes, known as Air Force One when the president is on board, are one of the most recognised symbols of the American presidency.

The civilian version of the plane, the Boeing 747-8, is priced at $390 million, but the presidential version is much more costly due to additional security and defensive features.

Boeing said the delivery date for the new planes will depend on how much testing the US Air Force wants to do. Its initial plan was to have the planes ready by 2024.

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