The 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.