by Anthony Capaccio
February 22, 2017
Cost estimates for a new Air Force One still being refinedThe Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One.
Service awards next contracts for design, aircraft by June 30
“To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information,” Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters Wednesday when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House,” Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.
Trump has boasted that he’s personally intervened to cut costs of two military aircraft -- the F-35, the fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp., and Boeing’s Air Force One.
“They were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One,” Trump said at a rally on Saturday in Florida. “Can you believe this? I said, ‘No way.’ I said, ‘I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse.’”
Instead, Trump said, “we got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project. I got the generals in, who are fantastic. I got Boeing in. But I told Boeing it’s not good enough. We’re not going to do it. The price is still too high.”
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