"We're working through the final stages of coordination to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft and expect to award a contract soon", Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement emailed to Defense One and Bloomberg.
The Air Force is close to awarding a contract to purchase two Boeing 747's once destined for Russian Federation to serve as the future Air Force One presidential airplane.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the deal yesterday told AFP that Boeing is set to sell a pair of 747-8 jetliners to the Air Force.
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"This deal is focused on providing a great value for the Air Force and the best price for the taxpayer".
Nearly eight months after President Donald Trump first criticized the multibillion dollar plan to buy two new 747's to be Air Force One and its backup, the Commander in Chief is close to getting a new deal.
The two planes, which are slated to be altered to become Air Force One presidential aircraft, were originally ordered in 2013 by Russia's second-biggest airline Transaero, which went bankrupt in 2015.
Military officials are wrapping up a contract with Boeing to purchase the two planes, which were never paid for by now-bankrupt Russian airline Transaero, according to Defense One. Five months ago, the planes were flown to a storage facility in the Mojave Desert to preserve them until Boeing could find someone to take them off its hands.
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In the halls of the Senate on Tuesday, however, it didn't seem as if Flake's message was being heeded. "That would be a mistake. Flake made a point to reference civility in his book. "If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it".
Even if the planes come in at a lower price tag than the average for a 747-8, which Boeing lists at $386.8 million, purchasing the plane itself would be just the first step in the process of standing up the next Air Force One. Russia's Aeroflot acquired Transaero's operations, but the airline decided not to complete the purchase of the two 747s.
The latest version of Air Force One won't be used until 2024.
The two aircraft that now serve as the primary presidential transports are highly modified 747-200Bs that have been in service since 1990.
That modification, done to specifications set by the Air Force, Secret Service and the White House Military Office, is where numerous costs related to the new Air Force One and its backup will come into play.
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The planes are expected to enter service between 2018 and 2022.