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Report: Air Force, White House Explore Presidential Aircraft Cost Reduction Strategies

Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force, has said the service branch has been in talks with White House officials to reduce the cost of the next presidential planes and one of the cost-saving plans is to forgo the aircraft’s aerial-refueling capability, Defense One reported Friday.

Cost-cutting plans for the new aircraft came a month after the service branch awarded Boeing a contract modification to convert a pair of 747-8 aircraft into Air Force One planes.

The 747-8 aircraft variant is designed to fly approximately 1,800 nautical miles farther than the aging presidential planes, according to a copy of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s December 2016 briefing obtained by Defense One.

Stefanek told the publication in an email the future Air Force Ones will be equipped with commercial interior furnishings that include an environmental control system for cooling and filtering cabin air.

The report said the service also has begun to negotiate prices for seats and other aircraft components with Boeing and subcontractors in order to lower the aircraft’s final procurement price that would not be disclosed until the summer of 2018.

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