Skip to comments.Trump Tweets: Stop building my new Air Force One; Costs are Out of Control
Posted on 12/06/2016 7:22:37 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Is this the Art of the Deal coming into play, or a stand against gouging by defense contractors? Despite insisting on the latest in luxury as a private citizen, Donald Trump seems to be saying no to a new fleet of presidential aircraft. He tweeted earlier today that the contract for replacing Air Force One should be canceled due to spiraling costs:
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
Over the past few months, the Pentagon approved contracts that allowed Boeing to prepare to convert two of its 747-8s into replacements for the current pair of aging 747s that serve as Air Force One. The three contracts come to $169 million, a down payment on an expenditure that the Pentagon estimates will have a total cost of $1.65 billion. The Air Force announced that plan almost two years ago, and the Air Force promised to “use proven technologies and commercially certified equipment” to keep costs under control. That’s for two planes, not one, as the president always travels with both as a precautionary measure.
A search of news does not produce any links about costs doubling on the project. It’s certainly possible that it might be happening; the request for bid went out to Boeing in September, so perhaps the proposal came back with a surprisingly high bottom line. If so, it’s being kept so quiet that even industry outlets have missed it. Boeing already has a limited market for the 747-8 as it is, thanks to competition from Airbus and a preference for two-engine aircraft for most routes. In January, Boeing announced a cutback in production of the 747-8 due to lower demand. Does it make much sense that Boeing would make their product look even less commercially useful by blowing up a high-profile contract? For some perspective on that question, check out the hit that Boeing took after Trump’s tweet, losing 1% in premarket trade.
Besides, canceling the order doesn’t make much sense in practical or political terms. The current pair of 747s fulfilling this mission are almost 30 years old and are nearing the end of their planned lifespan as AF1s. Replacements have to be found soon, and Boeing already has the process underway. The only other four-engine airframe option would be the Airbus 380, which would mean dumping a product made in the USA to, um … outsource it overseas. That’s not exactly Making America Great Again, is it?
Either this is a stream-of-consciousness tweet that means nothing, or Trump wants to lean on Boeing publicly to wring a better deal out of them. As a defense contractor, they depend on government contracts for survival, and they had to have noticed what happened last week with United Technologies and its Carrier subsidiary. Nice contracts ya got there, pal …
I really love this guy..
Wow, that is a lot of money
I agree in theory, but, Donald... this bird will need measures and countermeasures that your jet doesn’t. It ain’t the same.
Pres only needs 747 for overseas. A 737 platform would suffice for domestic travel. Press can travel commercial.
The planes won’t be delivered until the last year of his second term. Cancel them.
Stay in the USA. Let world leaders come to him. Skip the 0 travel routine.
YES. Dump the press off the plane ... why should they get special treatment after how they attacked Trump. If they have a problem the PE can give access to Breitbart through Banning
I keep getting ideas, and then wondering if there’s any possibility of getting them to Trump.
Apparently there is: telepathy.
I’ve thought for years that a Repub President should not have a big plane. There’s no reason to fly all over the world. And there’s no reason for “continuity of government.” And I’ve thought he should make a big deal out of the money he is saving.
No kidding, we need to make things harder on the elite media, not easier.
Just shop-vac the interior with a super heavy-duty shop-vac, steam-clean it, spray every nook and cranny with lysol and let it dry in the desert with all the doors and windows open for a week. That ought to kill all the obama cooties.
President-elect Trump is, without a doubt, the most gifted businessman and brilliant strategic thinker ever to become the leader of this country. Even the NeverTrump numbskulls at “Hotair” are finally awakening to that realization.
Yep. Keep what we got (AF-1), but get the residual smoke-stink out of the existing; DJT don’t smoke and, it stinks.
Oh, and, get rid of the MEDIA section. Let the POTUS fly (for free!) without any hound-dogs.
But what about President Pence...
I don’t care what kind of measures and countermeasures this bird needs 4 billion dollars is ridiculous!!!!! These contractors have been getting away with ripping off the government for DECADES!!! BRAVO Mr. Trump!!!!
SQUEEZE the BASTARDS.
The party is over.
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