- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Pentagon plans to spend billions of dollars to upgrade Air Force One.

Due to the aging Boeing 747 planes that become Air Force One when the president is on board, the Pentagon wants to buy three new planes to replace the two that are in service, CBS reported Sunday.

“The current airplane was fielded in 1991,” Air Force Col. Amy McCain told CBS. “It’s the only 747-200 left in the United States that is flying. So it costs a lot more time and money to keep that airplane flying than it used to. It’s actually cheaper in the long run to replace it.”

Col. McCain’s team, who is working on the project, has grown from 20 people to 80 over the past year and eventually will increase to 100, CBS reported.

“The top priority is an affordable aircraft that will meet the presidential requirements. We’re buying up to three. It depends on all the availability of having two airplanes available for the president at any one time,” Col. McCain said.

Budget documents indicate the military plans to spend $3 billion for the new planes over the next five years, CBS reported. That figure does not include the final three years of the project.

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