Air Force, Boeing agree on deal for two new Air Force One 747-8 aircraft

WASHINGTON. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a contract modification that will pave the way for the Air Force to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft to replace the two aging VC-25A Boeing 747-200 presidential support aircraft.

This recent move follows a set of awards given in 2016 for risk reduction activities; the Air Force has already requested that Boeing provide proposals to design, modify, test, and field two presidential mission-ready aircraft. These efforts will be awarded via future contract modifications.

Boeing will modify its pair of Federal Aviation Administration-certified commercial 747-8 aircraft -- which were built several years ago for a different client but were never delivered -- to meet presidential operational requirements. The program expects to begin aircraft modifications in 2019 and reach initial operational capability in 2024.

The Air Force and Boeing declined to release the financial details of the deal. The aircraft were purchased through commercial contracting procedures; as such, price and other related details are commercial-competition sensitive, meaning that the negotiated price paid is not releasable.  The price will, however, will be part of the overall program cost baseline once set, and will be released in accordance with the contract publication requirements.