President-Elect, Donald Trump recently tweeted that the cost of replacing Air Force One, the Presidents airliners would be 4 billion US dollars.

This figure is reported as accurate elsewhere.

Other news reports for listed a fraction of that as the current contract, 170 million dollars.

Will replacing Air Force One cost 4 billion US dollars?

  • The $170M contract is for designing, not building, the next Air Force One. The actual costs are forecasted to be about $2.9 billion, although it's not uncommon for these to come in over budget. All this is explained by the articles you linked to - what's your question, exactly?
    – ff524
    Dec 16, 2016 at 1:31
  • @ff524 The articles I've linked to say $1.69B, $2.9B & $3B. No one has said as high as $4B except Donny. My question is will it cost that much and how did he arrive at that number?
    – Coomie
    Dec 16, 2016 at 1:56
  • Is there a chance that different #s are due to in/excluding maintenance costs or other differences in accounting? There's a lot of ways to define what a project like that "costs"
    – user5341
    Dec 16, 2016 at 16:52
  • @ff524 The $170 M is just for requirements discovery and preliminary design work, not even close to all of the design work.
    – reirab
    Dec 17, 2016 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


Independent confirmation of cost from non-Trump source:

Your link in second paragraph has independent confirmation from NBC news (not exactly a hotbed of Trump support) twitter citing Air Force:

NBC Nightly News ✔ @NBCNightlyNews
US Air Force official: Price of new Air Force One project expected to be more than $4B by time aircraft delivered - @ckubeNBC

As to where the number comes from:

  1. That link also shows the military form for "PE 0401319F: Presidential Aircraft Replacement (PAR)"

    The total cost in the form (2015 through 2021) is 11.006+82.420+351.220+625.631+740.999+573.711+487.270 = $2.9B

    That number ONLY includes R&D ("3600: Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Air Force / BA 5: System") and does NOT include procurement

  2. Same Hannity article quotes procurement costs at ~1B, but the source is just a tweet from unknown guy.

    However, this seems the right ballpark. A comment from @Mark states

    Boeing's list price for the 747-800 is around $400M for an unmodified airliner, and the Air Force is planning on buying two of them.

If you take ~$1B procurement at face value, that's where you arrive at $2.9B+$1B=$3.9B, almost Trump's $4B

  • 2
    $1 billion for procurement is reasonable. Boeing's list price for the 747-800 is around $400M for an unmodified airliner, and the Air Force is planning on buying two of them.
    – Mark
    Dec 17, 2016 at 0:38
  • For what it's worth, Wikipedia suggests that the procurement unit cost for the current VC-25's was $325 M and that was in the late 1980s. However, in a quick search, I didn't see a definitive source to back that up.
    – reirab
    Dec 17, 2016 at 6:16

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