Boeing responds to Trump’s $4 billion Air Force One claim

Boeing responds to Trump’s $4 billion Air Force One claim
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing responded to President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday after he blasted the aircraft manufacturing company for a contract allegedly worth “more than $4 billion.” In a statement on its website, Boeing disclosed that the current contract is for only $170 million.

As it turns out, they’re both partially right.

“We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serves the unique requirements of the President of the United States,” the memo from Boeing read.

“We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer,” it added.

But Trump had an altogether different idea about the makeup of the government’s contract with Boeing, which in January won the contract to build the next generation of 747 Air Force One aircraft.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday morning at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump called the plane project “totally out of control” and said the costs are “ridiculous.”

“I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number,” he continued. “We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”

As previously stated, the only active contract Boeing has with the Air Force at the moment seems to be the one for $170 million. Though the total value of the full contract awarded at the beginning of the year is not immediately available, the Air Force previously disclosed that it had earmarked $1.65 billion for two replacement Boeing 747-8s, according to Reuters.

So, though both Boeing and Trump are sharing somewhat misleading numbers, the president-elect’s figure seems to be closer to the total.

The budgeted cost for the program to replace the two Air Force One aircraft rings in at $2.87 billion for the fiscal years of 2015 through 2021. However, the production contract has yet to be awarded to Boeing, even though the company won the bid.

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