Air Force purchases bankrupt Russian firm’s planes for Air Force One
The Air Force purchased two commercial Boeing 747 jetliners that were abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline for use replacing aging presidential support aircraft, according to a Friday announcement.
The expected deal comes after Air Force officials said they were getting a “good deal” for the aircraft from Boeing which on average cost $386.8 million each.
The aircraft were ordered in 2013 by Russian airline Transaero, however the company went bankrupt in 2015, according to Defense One.
The aircraft will start providing presidential airlift support in 2024 after changes and tests are done on the planes, according to a statement from the Air Force.
Additional modifications to the airplanes will include adding a mission communications system, electrical power upgrades, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system and autonomous ground operations capabilities, according to the Air Force.
Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a review of the Air Force One program in January after President Trump criticized costs related to the program.
The then-president elect criticized Boeing for the cost of a new Air Force One plane in December.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016