Refrigerator upgrade for Air Force One to cost $24 million: report

Two outdated refrigerators being replaced on Air Force One will reportedly cost about $24 million.

The coolers on the presidential aircraft need to have the capacity to store 3,000 meals onboard, and two out of the five are in need of replacement, according to Defense One.

The refrigerators have been on the plane since 1990, when Boeing first gave the Air Force the customized aircraft. Boeing was awarded a $23.7 million contract to replace the refrigerators, according to Defense One.

Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm, told Defense One that the Air Force One-specific requirements, which differ from those on commercial and business aircrafts, can result in high costs for equipment like refrigerators.

“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” he said. “It’s not getting people rich.”


Before taking office, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE complained about the high costs of Air Force One, tweeting that the Air Force should “cancel order!” 

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense One in an email that some of the equipment on board is in need of replacement because of decreasing performance. The upgrades are expected to be completed by October 2019.

“Although serviced on a regular basis, reliability has decreased with failures increasing, especially in hot/humid environments,” Stefanek said. “The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage.”

“The engineering required to design, manufacture, conduct environmental testing and obtain Federal Aviation Administration certification are included in the cost,” she added.