The Air Force is asking Congress for more money to keep the two current presidential jets in service for two to three more years because of unplanned delays by Boeing in building their replacements as Air Force One.
Andrew Hunter, the Air Force’s top acquisition official, didn’t indicate how much would be needed to keep the older jets in the air, according to Defense One, a civilian publication that covers the defense industry.
Mr. Hunter told the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee that aerospace giant Boeing is expecting a two- to three-year delay in the schedule to field the new planes that are designated Air Force One when the president is aboard.
“That means we will have to sustain the existing aircraft for longer, and we are posturing to do that,” he said, according to Defense One.
The company blames the delays on supply chain issues linked to the coronavirus pandemic and problems with a subcontractor. Boeing has lost $1.1 billion building the new planes, but a contract negotiated by former President Donald Trump requires the company to pay for any overages, meaning taxpayers are insulated from the company’s cost overruns.