17:49 GMT +319 August 2017
Live
    Air Force One, with President Barack Obama aboard, lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.

    Boeing CEO Promises Trump Air Force One Will Be Less Than $4B

    © AP Photo/ Paul Beaty
    Politics
    Get short URL
    5143965

    US President-elect Donald Trump met with top executives from Lockheed Martin and Boeing on Wednesday to begin negotiating for new aircraft that the incoming President previously criticized for 'out of control" costs.

    Trump’s meetings with Boeing and Lockheed were held separately in Palm Beach, Florida, and included senior defense officials. The next Air Force One will have "the best capability" at an affordable price point, Boeing chairman Dennis Muilenburg claimed, following the meeting.

    ​The aim of the talks was "to get costs down," Trump said, emphasizing "costs." The President-elect cried foul over a $4-billion price tag associated with the presidential plane, but Boeing is "going to get it done for less than that," the Boeing CEO said following the meeting. The Chicago-based aerospace giant must work with federal officials to create an aircraft to Pentagon specifications, including anti-missile defense systems. Boeing has yet to be awarded a contract for the physical production of the plane, but the company has started building out the plane’s systems.

    Government contracts analyst Kevin Brancato notes that the Pentagon has set aside $3.2 billion for the life-cycle of the two planes, from research and development to construction and acquisition.

    The F-35 Saga Carries On

    Trump and the Lockheed Martin CEO conversed on the ever-contentious F-35 fighter jet program, though Trump would not commit to having gained any victories during the negotiations. "It’s a dance, you know" he said, indicating the discussions are still in the preliminary stages, adding that the F-35 program is “very, very expensive.”

    The self-proclaimed best deal-maker in the world assured reporters that F-35 costs will be reduced, however. “We’re going to do it beautifully,” he remarked. 

    The US currently maintains a fleet of 178 F-35As, 71 F-35Bs and 36 F-35Cs. Some lawmakers have called for the US to acquire more than 2,000 F-35s through 2038, according to recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) research. The CBO report indicates the Pentagon could dial back costs 29 percent over the next decade by adding the highest-tech versions of the older F-16s and F/A-18s fighters, instead of the beleaguered F-35s.

    A recent investigation discovered that a mere loose bracket in the weapons bay of an F-35B caused the fifth-generation fighter to go up in flames. What’s even more baffling is that not all F-35’s have received the modified brackets, according to a senior defense official, creating ongoing unease for flight crews.

    Related:

    Boeing Wins $410Mln to Repair Embattled Osprey Aircraft
    Trump Confirms Talks With Boeing on Cutting Cost of 'Air Force One'
    Trump Calls for Cancellation of Boeing Order for New 'Air Force One' Plane
    After Meeting Trump, Boeing CEO Vows to Build New Air Force One for Under $4Bln
    Tags:
    Air Force One, F-35 fighter jet, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Donald Trump, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment