President Trump has confirmed that two new Air Force One planes will be built and will receive a new paint job.
“Boeing gave us a good deal. And we were able to take that,” Trump told Jeff Glor of CBS on Tuesday. “But I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not.”
“You know what colors we’re using? Take a guess,” he told Gor.
“Red, white and blue,” Trump confirmed. “Air Force One is going to be incredible. It’s gonna be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s gonna be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”
In February, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said that President Trump had negotiated a $3.9 billion “fixed price contract” for two new planes to serve as the new Air Force One duo.
“I was able to save $1.5 billion and order a new one for the country,” Trump told Gor of the deal.
A White House press release on Tuesday confirmed that the contract had been awarded to Boeing to deliver two Air Force One planes by 2024. This would be during Trump’s second term in office, if he is re-elected.
NEW: U.S. Air Force awards contract to Boeing for two “Air Force One” replacement planes. White House says price of $3.9 billion saves “$1.4 billion from the initially proposed $5.3 billion cost-plus contract.” https://t.co/j032dFKtPy pic.twitter.com/QB44QXb9SE
— ABC News (@ABC) July 18, 2018
The process of acquiring new Air Force One planes has taken years of negotiations. Even after Trump sealed the deal, the first plane may not be finished during his time in the White House.
“I hate to say this, it’s gonna be a long time,” Trump said. “It’s a very complex project. But by the time it gets built, you’re gonna have many presidents, hopefully, use it and enjoy it.”
Currently, the Air Force One fleet consists of two custom Boeing 747-200B aircraft, first put in service in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. The planes have accommodated every President in the last 28 years.
The two new planes are expected to be the same model aircraft, but receive a few upgrades at President Trump’s request. In addition to the new paint job, he requested a larger and more luxurious bed.
The current paint scheme is a 55-year-old design developed by French designer Raymond Loewy, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1962.
President Trump said he wanted to replace the signature “luminous ultramarine blue,” which he referred to as a “Jackie Kennedy color.”
After the deal was initially announced, Boeing released a statement confirming the deal: “Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers. President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.”
Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers. President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people. pic.twitter.com/m0HtGfXVlv
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) February 27, 2018
Some of the customizations for the currently used Air Force One planes include “in-flight refueling capabilities, a top-secret anti-missile system, and a blast-resistant outer skin, rumored to withstand a nuclear blast.”
A Boeing official said the deal includes full modifications with the equipment and defenses needed for a Presidential aircraft, including a secure communications area, large galleys and external stairs.