Next generation Air Force One coming in over budget and behind schedule

U.S.

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The next set of Air Force One jets will land later than expected, and more expensive than they were ordered.

The question is who will pay for it.

On Tuesday, Darlene Costello, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force, told a House subcommittee Boeing informed them it could take an extra year to deliver the two planes. They might also need another $500 million.

They signed a $3.9 billion contract to build the planes in 2018 to be delivered in 2024.

Marcus Weisgerber, global business editor for Defense One, says Boeing blames the logistical ripples from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There have been problems with supply chains and companies with people getting sick and having to shut down and then having to retool their whole entire factory for social distancing and whatnot,” Weisgerber said. “So what’s happened here is Boeing’s incurred costs for that.”

President Trump orchestrated the original deal and championed language that would’ve forced Boeing to eat any overrun costs, but the Air Force is still deciding whether it will ask Congress to approve more money for the project.

Weisgerber said there’s also a dispute between Boeing and a separate company that’s building the interior of the planes, delaying their delivery a year. It’s now 2025 at the earliest.

“In order for say President Biden to plan these plans, he would have to win a second term. I don’t think anybody’s holding their breath that he’ll be able to fly on them during his first term,” Weisgerber said.

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