April 11 (UPI) — Boeing was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to advance design services on VC-25B, the next version of Air Force One.
The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $24 million under the terms of a firm-fixed-price contract, which is a modification to a previous award.
The agreement enables Boeing to advance the preliminary designs on the new Boeing VC-25B aircraft, a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner used to transport the U.S. president and other government officials — and referred to as Air Force One when carrying the president.
Boeing and President Donald Trump in February finalized an informal deal for two new Air Force One aircraft in February, with the total final cost for both aircraft estimated at $3.9 billion.
The new contract is a modification on a work order for two commercial Boeing 747-8 aircraft and design of the VC-25B.
Work on the contract will occur in Seattle, Wash, and is expected to be complete in December 2018.
More than $20.6 million will be obligated to Boeing at time of award from fiscal 2018 research and development funds.
While presidents typically order Air Force One upgrades during their second term, and Boeing said the aircraft are not expected to be ready until 2024, Trump asked for them to be delivered in 2021.
The current Air Force One aircraft were ordered by President Ronald Reagan in the mid-1980s, and President George H.W. Bush was the first president to use them in 1990.