Pentagon confirms Boeing will get $3.9 billion for new Air Force One jets

  • Boeing has won a $3.9 billion contract to replace the two Air Force One jets used by sitting U.S. presidents.
  • President Trump wants the planes painted in a new red, white and blue design.
  • Trump has previously criticized the estimated cost of the replacement.
Air Force One, a heavily modified Boeing 747 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Air Force One, a heavily modified Boeing 747 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The Pentagon has confirmed that Boeing is to receive $3.9 billion to build two new aircraft for use as Air Force One planes to serve the U.S. president.

The decision was revealed on the Department of Defense website Tuesday, stating the contract will include “detailed design, modification, testing, certification, and fielding of two presidential, mission-ready 747-8 aircraft.”

The work is to be carried out in San Antonio and Pentagon officials expect the new planes to be ready by the end of 2024.

The current planes are almost 30 years old and are due for replacement. But in December 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his opposition to the contract due to its cost of "more than $4 billion."

Air Force One has always consisted of two planes and the first official presidential jet, a Boeing 707/VC-137, flew in 1959 with President Dwight D. Eisenhower on board.

New color scheme

In an interview with the media outlet CBS, Trump confirmed the new planes will be painted "red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”

If selected, the new livery would match the color scheme of those used for the official jets of France, China and Russia.

Former President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy selected the current color scheme in the 1960s.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the first presidential jet was a Boeing 707/VC-137.