Boeing lifts price tag for Air Force One contract: USAF official

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Boeing Co has told the U.S. Air Force that the price of the next-generation presidential aircraft could rise, and sought more time to deliver it, citing difficulties with COVID-19 and a subcontractor, an Air Force official said on Tuesday.

Boeing received a $3.9-billion contract in July 2018 to build two 747-8 aircraft for use as Air Force One, set for delivery by December 2024.

Boeing said it wanted extra time of about a year to deliver, however, Darlene Costello, the air force’s acting assistant secretary for Acquisition, told a panel of the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives.

The planemaker also sent the Air Force a letter beginning the process to negotiate a price adjustment for the jets, Costello added.

A Boeing spokesperson told Reuters, “We continue to make steady progress on these programs and are working closely with the U.S. Air Force.”

In April, Boeing recorded a $318-million pre-tax charge related to Air Force One presidential aircraft because of a dispute with a supplier.

The Boeing 747-8s are designed to be like an airborne White House, able to fly in worst-case security scenarios such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defence system.

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