New York Times: Pentagon to Tap Boeing to Build 747-8 as Air Force One Replacement

Boeing-747-8The Defense Department plans to award Boeing a contract in the next few weeks to replace the current presidential aircraft with a new plane built on a Boeing 747-8 frame, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Peter Baker writes the Air Force has requested $102 million in fiscal year 2016 and $3 billion in the next five years for the construction of the new Air Force One.

Boeing 747-8 was selected by the service branch earlier this year to replace the presidential fleet’s two VC-25A planes, which are customized Boeing 747-200 aircraft.

The service branch plans to equip the 250-foot-long aircraft with tools designed to fend off heat-seeking missiles, withstand threats of nuclear electromagnetic pulse and facilitate aerial refueling operations, Baker reports.

The Air Force also expects Boeing to design the 747-8 aircraft with an engine thrust of up to 66,500 pounds and a range of approximately 7,800 miles.

The New York Times reports the new Air Force One could be ready by 2023.

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