Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he told President-elect Donald Trump that they can build the next version of Air Force One for less than $4 billion, just weeks after Trump criticized the $4.2 billion price tag and encouraged the government to cancel the order.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure this happens,” Muilenburg said, offering the president-elect a firm commitment on the cost.
“It’s a dance, you know. It’s a little bit of a dance,” Trump said. “We’re going to get the costs down and we’re going to do it beautifully.”
Boeing is presently developing the secure communications and defense systems, among other requirements, which makes it more expensive than a standard Boeing 747-8.
The two current Air Force Ones were purchased under President Reagan and were delivered in 1990 under President George H.W. Bush.
President Obama ordered the replacement fleet during his second term, as the current airplanes are nearing the end of their expected 30-year lifespan.
Trump will likely never fly in an official capacity on the new planes as the new jumbo jets are not expected to fly until sometime in the mid 2020s.