Trump says Air Force One aircraft too expensive

Washington, Dec 7 (IANS) US President-elect Donald Trump urged the government to cancel Boeing’s new Air Force One plane in a Twitter post, saying it was too expensive.

“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion,” he tweeted.

“Cancel order!” he urged.

However, the $4-billion price tag Trump claimed for the cost of the new aircraft could not be immediately confirmed. So far there are no comments from both Boeing and the Pentagon.

The two 747-200 aircrafts currently used as Air Force One has been in flight since the Reagon era in 1980s. Though the two planes have been heavily modified, they are due to reach the end of their planned 30-year life in 2017.

In January, Boeing secured a contract from the Pentagon to start development work on the 747-8 jumbo jets that would replace the aging planes, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The deal includes modifications to the aircraft, from sophisticated communications equipment to other upgrades such as antimissile devices, experts said.

The Air Force earmarked $1.65 billion between 2015 and 2019 for two replacement jets, but has not detailed the expected cost or delivery dates for the replacement planes, said the report, adding that the Air Force had previously said it was looking to introduce the planes in 2021.

Boeing was the US government’s second biggest federal contractor last year behind Lockheed Martin Corp., according to federal procurement data.

–IANS

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