Cancel Air Force One??
Donald J. Trump
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
8:52 AM - 6 Dec 2016
"The plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program and I think it's ridiculous," Trump elaborated in brief comments to reporters at Trump Tower. "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."
The source of Trump's $4 billion cost estimate was not immediately apparent, though a Government Accountability Office report from March 2016 priced it at roughly $3.2 billion. Operations and maintenance are an inherent part of any such program. Canada was in line to buy the F-35, but then realized that they would actually had to operate the things, and had sticker shock. Malaysia bought a bunch of MiG-29s without a service contract, to save money, and they soon turned into hangar queens.
So what does he propose:
1 - the existing VC-25s are about to time out
2 - the 747 is the only US airframe big enough to carry all the needed people and gear
3 - I assume he is not proposing to buy A380s from Europe
4 - maybe the USAF just buys Trump One, and not even repaint it ?? If this has been thought through, rather than just stray voltage to keep everyone confused and distracted, maybe he is proposing to cut back on the size of the presidential travelling staff or the accompanying press pool - this would match his governing style of ditching the press pool and running the world from his twitter account without staff help.
This is a stunt, not policy - it is a standard gimic of incoming reformers to dump trappings of power. Pope Francis decided not to wear the Papal red shoes, etc -- but Air Force One is not a gimic, it is part of running the Free World.
Air Force requirements demand four engines and accommodations for an entourage of 70-plus passengers. On 07 February 2017 Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. (WWK) aerospace and defense team identified concepts and pathways to save the Trump Administration $2 billion without compromises to the core mission or critical capabilities. The report focused on the B-21 and 737. It did not rule out the Boeing 767, nor foreign airframes built by Airbus, Bombardier or Embraer. Russian and Chinese alternatives were not candidates.
WWK suggested the penny-wise option is a fleet of presidential 737s. Because of their reduced passenger capacity, the 737 would require additional aircraft to carry government and military support staff as well as members of the press.
Trump is no stranger to executive travel. The billionaire real estate magnate’s custom-tailored Boeing 757-200, known as “Trump Force One," featured prominently in the campaign leading up to the November presidential election.
“They were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One," Trump said at a rally on 18 February 2017 in Florida. “Can you believe this? I said, ‘No way.’ I said, ‘I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse.’" Instead, Trump said, “we got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project. I got the generals in, who are fantastic. I got Boeing in. But I told Boeing it’s not good enough. We’re not going to do it. The price is still too high."
The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he had negotiated for the new Air Force One. “To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information," Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters 22 February 2017 when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House," Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.
Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) VC-XX
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis directed 27 January 2017 reviews of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program. Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the purpose of the reviews is “to inform programmatic and budgetary decisions, recognizing the critical importance of each of these acquisition programs."
On 12 September 2016 the Air Force announced that the Government intended to solicit and award a sole source contract modification to The Boeing Company for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) Program. This notice was originally identified as FA8625-15-C-6599. The contract was awarded in Fiscal Year 2016, therefore the number was changed to FA8625-16-C-6599. The purpose of EMD was to complete detailed design, modification, test and fielding of two aircraft which will provide Presidential worldwide airlift support starting in the 2024 timeframe. The Justification and Approval in accordance with FAR 6.302-1 "Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements". The scope of this effort includes the modification by Boeing to the already-Federal Aviation Administration certified Boeing 747-8 aircraft to meet presidential operational requirements. The modifications to the 747-8 aircraft will include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.
On 28 January 2015, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, in coordination with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, announecd that the Boeing 747-8 would serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One. The decision, made official through a Determinations and Findings document, authorized the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition. This decision, in conjunction with the notification of the Air Force's intent to award a sole source contract to Boeing for the modification of the 747-8, allowed discussions with Boeing that are likely to lead to a contract for the aircraft platform as well as the modifications necessary to missionize the aircraft.
The PAR program will replace the VC-25A in the 2024 time frame through a highly tailored acquisition program. Parts obsolescence and diminishing sources for replacement parts are driving increased costs and increasing out of service times for heavy maintenance to maintain Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness standards. That time has already grown to well over a year per heavy maintenance cycle, significantly limiting availability for presidential support. The PAR program requirements are documented in the capability development document, which was approved in November 2014. The acquisition strategy to replace Air Force One was approved by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics on Sept. 4, 2015.
The United States Air Force initiated market research in January 2009 to identify potential sources that possess the expertise, capabilities, and experience to meet the requirements of the next generation Presidential fixed-wing aircraft. The current VC-25 Air Force One, based on the 747-200 airframe, was purchased in 1987 and delivered in 1990 with a 30 year design life. As 747-200s have been retired from airline service, parts and maintenance are becoming increasingly expensive. The Air Force conducted an Analysis of Alternatives to examine if it would be more cost effective to maintain the current Air Force One, or to buy a new aircraft. Given the diminishing parts supplier base, increasing maintenance time, and system upgrades that would be necessary to meet future air traffic control requirements, it was found that replacing the VC-25 was the most cost effective option.
The PAR aircraft would be a new-build, commercial derivative, wide-body aircraft, uniquely modified to meet the current and projected requirements for the worldwide transportation of the Office of the President. Modifications regarding passenger communications, information systems, interior work & rest environment, and aerial refueling must be accomplished before delivery of the aircraft. The delivery of the first operationally capable aircraft is required in FY17, with delivery of the second and third aircraft in FY19 and FY21, respectively. The PAR aircraft must maintain the highest possible mission capable rate.
The PAR aircraft will provide the President of the United States, staff, and guests with safe and reliable air transportation with the appropriate level of security and communications capability. Mission communications must provide secure, interoperable command, control, and communications, using net-centric architectures.
The PAR aircraft will be uniquely configured to meet the requirements for the President of the United States to execute Constitutional roles of Commander of the Armed Forces, Head of State, and Chief Executive worldwide while airborne. Aircraft modifications could include interior access provisions, enhanced electrical power generation, provisions for self-sufficient baggage loading and passenger boarding, secure and non-secure passenger communications, information systems, interior work and rest environment. An open systems architecture design approach for any structural and system modifications to the basic aircraft is desired.
The interior must provide a work and rest environment suitable for the President, guests, and traveling staff. The interior configuration must provide the President with ample work and conference areas (including sleeping, lavatory, shower, and dressing areas). The interior must be accessible to the physically impaired. The interior must be configured with galleys that provide the aircrew with the capability to prepare, serve, and store food and beverages. It must also provide for housekeeping and waste disposal.
The PAR aircraft must be capable of inter-continental range when departing from Joint Base Andrews, and must have the capability to operate from regional airfields. Mission communications, data, voice, and video, must provide secure and interoperable command, control, and communications using net-centric architectures. Extensive structural and system modifications to the basic aircraft might be required to allow for self-sufficient operations at airfields with minimal or no ground support equipment and for access to baggage and equipment storage areas while in-flight.
The modified aircraft will be Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified, and will meet projected aviation requirements to conduct worldwide flight operations in all civil and military airspace as defined by the FAA, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Department of Defense (DOD).
Given that time frame, it is possible that the options for commercially-derived widebody aircraft could be limited to the Boeing 747-8I and (Airbus) A380. Airbus confirmed that it submitted data about the A380, A340 and A330 as part of an analysis of alternatives. Market research determined there were two four-engine platforms that could meet the requirements; the 747-8 manufactured by Boeing in the state of Washington, and the A380 manufactured by Airbus in Toulouse, France.
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said “The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America and the office of the president of the United States... The Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States (that), when fully missionized, meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest."
The Air Force awarded a sole source contract to The Boeing Company for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) Program. The scope of the effort included the management, design (to include any necessary studies or analyses), integration, modification (including but not limited to structural modifications), test/verification, certification, pre-operational support, and training to deliver up to three Boeing 747-8 aircraft to be Presidential ready. This effort entails a highly complex integration of extensive modifications and numerous subsystems which must seamlessly interface with each other and the 747-8 commercial aircraft systems in order to meet the Presidential "no fail" mission.
As the designer and manufacturer of the commercial 747-8 aircraft, The Boeing Company has the unique capability to perform necessary tasks to provide a Presidential aircraft. Boeing is also uniquely capable of satisfying all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification requirements with the highest confidence to meet the established program operational need date. This unique capability is based on Boeing's exclusively private development of the aircraft and sole ownership of the 747-8 aircraft stress, loads, and aero design data. Boeing declined to sell or otherwise provide the United States Government or other contractors the license rights needed to conduct an adequate competition or to provide additional engineering services in lieu of data rights.
The nature of the effort needed to meet PAR Program requirements is such that a non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) attempting the extensive modifications required for a Boeing 747-8 aircraft to meet PAR Program requirements would face significant challenges in securing required FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) without availability of OEM technical data and technical support. Without the OEM's technical data and technical support, a non-OEM would be responsible for generating and recreating basic aircraft technical design data.
The FAA would require a significant amount of proof in terms of data development, compliance methodology, and reverse-engineering type design data needed to substantiate and certify the modifications required for the PAR Program. Non-OEM reverse engineering type design data introduces significant cost and schedule risk into this program, which would jeopardize having an initial operating capability by 2023.
The Air Force awarded a contract modification to Boeing 15 July 2016 to continue risk reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, which will field the next Air Force One. Future modifications will be made to this contract to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, as well as to design, modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.
These efforts are another step in a deliberate process to control program risk and life cycle costs. This contract modification provides for risk reduction activities needed to address PAR sustainment requirements and costs and are additional to those initially awarded on Jan. 29. These activities will most notably focus on the system specification, environmental control system, aircraft interior, electrical and power system, and sustainment/maintenance approaches. They will aid in further defining detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions that will lead to a lower risk engineering and manufacturing development program and lower life cycle costs.
“The information from these studies is essential for us to make informed decisions on the design and modifications to the 747-8 aircraft, which will have long-term impacts to sustainment costs of the next Air Force One," said Col. Amy McCain, the PAR program manager. “All of the different modifications to the aircraft need to work together seamlessly. As we understand more about how to meet the detailed requirements, we can make deliberate choices to lower the cost and risks to the program." The Air Force will award the majority of the program on a separate contract action after the results of the risk reduction activities are known.
The US Air Force proposed in July 2017 to buy two 747-8 aircraft left out in the cold by a bankrupt Russian firm for Air Force One. The jets were ordered from Boeing by Transaero in 2013 but were never delivered. Boeing was going to make four jets for the Russian airliner, but stopped when the company ended up going under in 2015. The USAF agreed to terms to buy the Russian planes for just $390 million. The list price of the jets was $1.5 billion, according to Flight Global. The sticker price for each 747-8 runs about $386 million, meaning that if USAF awards the $390 million contract for the two jets, the White House will be paying about 50 percent of the jets’ retail value.
The pair of aircraft are currently stored at a boneyard in the Mojave Desert, Defense One noted. Hundreds of old aircraft “sit with their engines shrinkwrapped in anticipation of one day returning to flight" in aircraft limbo at the site, the news outlet added.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave the green light in October 2015 to begin bankruptcy proceedings for Transaero airlines, according to sources cited by online newspaper. Negotiations on a takeover of Russia's second-biggest carrier by Aeroflot had been deadlocked. According to sources, Aeroflot took a hard line refusing the Transaero consolidation. There weare two considerations: first, who will inherit Transaero's [$4 billion] debts and how much of them, second, how it will affect the airline's smaller creditors, the passengers and airline employees.
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