Trump lashes out at Boeing over future of Air Force One | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 07.12.2016
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Politics

Trump lashes out at Boeing over future of Air Force One

The US President-elect has claimed that the cost of a new aircraft to transport the president is "out of control." But Boeing said their contract with the government falls significantly short of Trump's estimates.

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Trump wants to scrap Boeing Air Force One order

US President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday called on the government to cancel its order with American aerospace company Boeing for new models of the Air Force One, which transport the president.

"Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion (3.7 billion euros). Cancel order," Trump said on social media platform Twitter.

The US Air Force, which operates the president's aircraft, announced in 2015 that Boeing's 747-8 models would likely replace the two aging models currently in use.

The government is planning to commission a model that can fly direct from Washington to Hong Kong, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) farther than the current Air Force One aircraft.

The president-elect later doubled-down on his remarks, telling reporters that the alleged cost to the government was "totally out of control."

"I think it's ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money," Trump said in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.

'Unique requirements'

Trump's comments prompted Boeing's stocks to drop, although it pared its losses by the end of trading on Tuesday.

Boeing Company issued a press statement in the wake of Trump's tweet, saying their contract with the Pentagon did not yet extend to the purchase of any aircraft.

"We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States," Boeing said.

"We look forward to working with the US Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer," it added.

According to budget documents, the revised Air Force Aircraft will witness extensive modifications, including military avionics, a self-defense system and advanced communications. The majority of the cost associated with the aircraft derives from research and development.

ls/bw (Reuters, AFP)

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