- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Boeing has reached a $3.9 billion deal with the Pentagon to build two Air Force One planes by 2024, as President Trump pushes for the new planes to be painted patriotic red, white and blue instead of the current baby blue aircraft.

The White House said Tuesday that the deal with the Air Force “reflects the president’s commitment to our military and to protecting taxpayer dollars.”

Formal replacement efforts began in 2011, and the new aircraft will replace the current Air Force One planes that are now 31 years old, the White House said, arguing that the deal will save taxpayers “more than $1.4 billion from the initially proposed $5.3 billion cost-plus contract.”

The award comes after 18 months of negotiations between Boeing and Mr. Trump, who had warned he might cancel the contract if the cost was too high.

Mr. Trump said in an interview Tuesday that he wants the new planes to be painted with a new design from the traditional pastel blue and white.

Boeing gave us a great deal,” he said on CBS. “But I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not.”

He added: “Air Force One is going to be incredible. 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.”

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