11:35 GMT22 September 2020
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    The White House confirmed on Wednesday that the US Air Force has awarded Boeing $3.9 billion to "design, modify, test, certify and deliver" two flight-ready 747-8 Air Force One replacement planes.

    According to the announcement, the recently unveiled contract will save more than $1.4 billion of taxpayer money. A previous contract had indicated the project would cost over $5.3 billion.

    "President Donald J. Trump has emphasized the need to minimize the cost of replacing the two existing Air Force One aircraft," the statement reads. "Yesterday's action meets that objective and reflects the President's commitment to our military and to protecting taxpayer dollars."

    The deal comes days after Trump said in an interview with CBS News' Jeff Glor that he wanted to give Air Force One a facelift.

    ​"For years they wanted to order new Air Force Ones… and no president has been able to make the right deal… Air Force One is 30 years old, and it shouldn't be," Trump told Glor. "The new plane when it comes in, Air Force One, which will be largely for future presidents, because by the time it gets built, I hate to say this, it's going to be a long time."

    "It's a very complex project. But by the time it gets built, you're going to have many presidents hopefully use it and enjoy it," he added.

    As for the exterior look of the jumbo jets, Trump indicated it would mirror the color scheme of the US flag.

    "Air Force One is going to be incredible," 45 said. "It's going to be the top of the line, the top in the world, and it's going to be red, white and blue — which I think is appropriate."

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly criticized Boeing for its high price tag for replacing the flying White House, calling the costs out of control. The replacement planes are expected to be delivered sometime in 2024.


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