White House buys two Air Force One planes for $3.9 bn

Washington, July 19 (IANS) The White House said on Wednesday it had signed a $3.9 billion contract with aircraft manufacturer Boeing to purchase two Air Force Ones.

The new planes are set to be delivered “mission ready” by 2024, replacing the current Air Force Ones that are now 31 years old, according to a White House statement, Xinhua reported.

The White House claimed that it has managed to knock the asking price down $1.4 billion, from the initially proposed $5.3 billion mark.

But the credibility of the claim has been put into question by one of Trump’s own tweets, sent while he was the president-elect in December 2016.

“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!” Trump said in a tweet, suggesting that the original price for the planes were significantly lower than what the White House claimed and the difference between the asking and final prices is less than 1.4 billion.

Trump has told US media that the new Air Force Ones will change its traditional livery of white and blue, adopting a combination of red, white, and blue, colours that are more closely associated with the US identity.

The new Air Force Ones are believed to be 747 jumbo planes with modifications tailored to the specific security needs of the US President.