The new Boeing 747-8s are outfitted with military avionics, enhanced communications, and a self-defense system to act as an airborne White House, capable of flying in worst-case security circumstances such as nuclear war.
After Boeing requested a one-year delay, US President Joe Biden or his successor will have to wait even longer to try out the new Air Force One planes, presumably in 2025. The cost of the new presidential jets will also increase by $500 million, Defense News reported, citing top US Air Force officials.
In July 2018, the aircraft maker was awarded a fixed-price $3.9 billion contract to manufacture two 747-8 aircraft, also called the VC-25B, that were expected to be delivered to serve as Air Force One by December 2024.
According to principal deputy assistant secretary for Air Force acquisition, Darlene Costello, quoted in the report, the Air Force is presently evaluating a revised plan offered by Boeing after the company got behind schedule in manufacturing the new aircraft aimed to replace the VC-25As, which first flew in 1991.
And by September, the service expects to have completed all revisions on the VC-25B delivery schedule. She also reportedly added that the service may need to put in another maintenance cycle to keep the two current VC-25A aircraft functioning until the VC-25Bs arrives.
Because of a dispute with a supplier, Boeing declared a $318 million pre-tax charge in April related to the Air Force One presidential…