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Donald Trump wants to cancel Air Force One deal with Boeing

"Costs are out of control ... cancel order!" Trump tweeted Tuesday.

By Allen Cone and Doug G. Ware
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Donald Trump wants to cancel Air Force One deal with Boeing
President-elect Donald Trump addresses reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday. Trump wants the initial order to develop a new Air Force One with Boeing to be canceled. Pool Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- President-elect Donald Trump wants to cancel the government's order for the development of a new Air Force One, citing a $4 billion cost.

The two new jets would replace the two aging 747-200Bs by at least 2024 -- three years past Trump's tenure if he is voted out of office after one term. The current planes were delivered in 1990 and George H.W. Bush was the first president to fly in the craft.

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"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!" he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. Tuesday.

Then, he told reporters at Trump Tower in New York: "The plane is totally out of control.

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"It's going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program and 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."

Boeing addressed Trump's critique on Tuesday afternoon.

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"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," the Chicago-based company said. "We look forward to working with the U.S. 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."

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Todd Harrison, of the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies, tweeted Tuesday that Trump's claim of $4 billion is pretty accurate.

"Budget currently shows $2.9B in research development test & evaluation through FY21, does not yet show procurement, will add ~$1B+," his tweet said.

The Air Force hasn't formally ordered the planes but awarded a development contract in January to Boeing. It would take about two years to build the planes at Boeing's factory in Washington state.

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Boeing, which has built the planes used by every president since Franklin Roosevelt, plans to replace the two 747-200B aircraft with two new, modified 747-8 planes.

The Air Force has allocated $2.9 billion through 2021 for two planes, including about $93 million already spent.

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"Parts obsolescence, diminishing manufacturing sources and increased downtimes for maintenance are existing challenges that will increase until a new aircraft is fielded," Col. Amy McCain, manager of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, said in a statement at the time.

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The cost of a passenger version of one new 747-8 costs $356.9 million and the freight-hauling version is $357.5 million, according to 24/7 Wall St.

A financial disclosure form filed during his presidential campaign indicates Trump owns Boeing shares worth $50,001 to $100,000. A spokesman for Trump said Tuesday he sold all of his stockholdings later in June

Shares of Boeing fell about 1 percent to $151 after the tweet.

Trump owns a Boeing 757 as his personal aircraft

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