Daily Management Review

Contract for Two New Presidential Air Force One Jets Granted to Boeing


Contract for Two New Presidential Air Force One Jets Granted to Boeing
Work is soon to begin for a new fleet of Air Force One presidential aircraft by Boeing Co soon after the airplane maker won a contract to start the preliminary work based on its 747-8 jumbo jet, the Pentagon said on Friday.
According to the Pentagon's daily digest of arms deals, the initial contract worth $25.8 million was awarded to Boeing by the U.S. Air Force to lower the cost of the program by looking at the tradeoffs between the requirements and design of the new plane and to reduce the risk.
The Air Force has previously said that it had earmarked $1.65 billion for two replacement jets for Air Force One even though the details about the total value of the new contract have not been released by Pentagon or the US Air Force.
“This initial effort is about reducing risk, really understanding where the tough work will be, finding affordability opportunities, and getting the best value for the taxpayer, while continuing to meet the needs of our commander-in-chief,” said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager, in a news release.
“This contract gets us started on determining how to modify a 747-8 to become the next Air Force One, and finding opportunities for cost reduction,” McCain said.
Boeing's 747-8 would be used to replace the two current Air Force planes used to transport the U.S. president which was announced by the Air Force first in January 2015. Air Force One is one of the most visible symbols of the United States.
As the Air Force One program moves into the engineering and design phase, and later, into production, the Air Force plans to modify the contract in coming years.
The planned 30 year life span of the two VC-25s, specially configured Boeing 747-200Bs which the Air Force now operates, are now coming to their end.
In order to keep the program affordable, the Air Force One program would use proven technologies and commercially certified equipment in January, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said.
Since the only other suitable four-engine jet is the A380 built by Airbus in Toulouse, France, the Air Force decision was widely expected.
The 747-8 provides an extra margin of flight safety over the more standard twin-engine planes and is the only four-engine commercial jet Boeing makes.
Due to dwindling sales, it would cut production of the 747-8 in half in September and take a $569 million charge in the fourth quarter, Boeing has said last week. The Chicago based company plans to manufacture just six 747 jumbo jets a year starting in September this year. The company also wrote off $885 million spent developing and learning to build the 747-8 expecting fewer future sales.
Eclipsed by more fuel-efficient twin-engine jets for passengers, the four-engine jet is now mostly a cargo workhorse. Undergoing a major overhaul in 2012, with new engines and a longer fuselage, the double-decker plane entered service in 1970.
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.heraldnet.com) 

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