Planes built for bankrupt Russian airlines could be new Air Force Ones

Planes built for bankrupt Russian airlines could be new Air Force Ones

Planes built for bankrupt Russian airlines could be new Air Force Ones

Concerns over cost has propelled the US Air Force to consider buying two Boeing 747-8 jetliners originally built for a Russian airline that went bankrupt before they were delivered.

The planes list for around $390 million each but officials close to the deal said the Pentagon is getting them for less, a move that comes after President Trump complained the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high.

The two aircraft were initially ordered four years ago by Transaero, a Russian airline that went bankrupt in 2015, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.

The average price for a 747-8 is $386.8 million.

The Air Force plans to allocate approximately $3.2 billion in funds to purchase two Air Force One planes from 2018 to 2022 based on DoD's fiscal 2018 budget request filed with Congress in February, the report added.

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"We're still working closely with the Air Force toward a deal, with our focus being to provide the best value and price to the Air Force", Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson told GeekWire in an email. Boeing chose to bring the planes-which have no interior fittings aside from the cockpit and a few business-class seats on the upper deck-to a storage center in the Mojave Desert in California. The sources chose not to be identified as the deal has not yet been finalized or publicly announced.

The current planes are 747-200s, which have been in service for nearly 30 years. Still, once the Air Force purchases the jets, according to Popular Mechanics, it will be years before the planes are ready for use.

Defense One reported on August 1 that the Air Force and Boeing are negotiating over two 747-8s being stored at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California.

As president-elect, Trump tweeted that the "costs are out of control" for the new Air Force One planes and demanded, "Cancel order".

The Pentagon's 2018 budget request, sent to Congress in February, shows that the Air Force plans to spend almost $3.2 billion between 2018 and 2022 on two new Air Force One jets. Based on a Pentagon budget request, the Air Force has the budget to spend almost $3.2 billion on these modifications.

The cost of refitting the commercial 747-8s with the enhanced electronics and security systems required for Air Force One was unclear. The Air Force needs to replace these planes with more modern technology and more efficient aircraft. Air Force One has to be equipped to dodge missiles and withstand the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear explosion, which will no doubt be expensive.

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