Boeing receives contract to advance new Air Force One design

By Rachel Cohen  
April 10, 2018 at 6:22 PM

Boeing will further its designs for the Air Force's next presidential aircraft fleet under a new $24.1 million contract awarded this week.

A new round of funding will supplement Boeing's current work on the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program and "advance the maturity of the air vehicle design beyond the preliminary design level on the VC-25B," the Defense Department said April 10. The contract enables work until December.

"This funding will allow the contractor to continue with the design process, provide continuity in engineering and design labor and preserve the overall schedule," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Tuesday. "The cost of this modification is included within the $3.9 billion total price for two aircraft that the president and Boeing chairman agreed to earlier this year."

President Trump has said he negotiated savings of more than $1 billion for the program, though the Air Force has not corroborated that claim.

Last summer, the Air Force purchased two 747-8s to replace the legacy Air Force One jets starting in 2024. The Air Force's fiscal year 2019 budget request projects research and development costs for PAR will total $3.9 billion through FY-23 -- up from $3.6 billion in the FY-18 budget submission -- though the final amount is still in flux as the program establishes a cost baseline this year. An engineering and manufacturing development contract is expected in the fourth quarter of FY-18.

The service expected Boeing to submit a cost proposal that incorporates changes to safety certifications, data management and requirement tweaks by April. Stefanek and a Boeing spokesman did not immediately respond to further questions.

Inside Defense recently reported Boeing is reorganizing its defense business and is standing up a new commercial derivative aircraft division -- which includes PAR -- in Seattle, WA.