Boeing has secured a $600m contract modification from the US Air Force (USAF) to design future Air Force One aircraft.
The deal requires the company to provide a preliminary design for the next presidential aircraft.
The initial design will incorporate a mission communication system, electrical power upgrades, a medical facility, and an executive interior into two commercial Boeing 747-8s. The deal will also include a self-defence system and autonomous ground operations capabilities.
The new Air Force One aircraft is intended to replace two ageing VC-25A (747-200) presidential support aircraft.
Commenting on the latest contract award, USAF Presidential Airlift Recapitalization (PAR) programme executive officer major general Duke Richardson said: “Following the award of the contract to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft, this contract award is the next major step forward toward ensuring an overall affordable programme.”
In August, Boeing received a contract modification from the USAF to deliver two commercial 747-8s for the new Air Force One aircraft.
Under the latest contract, Boeing and the USAF will work together to ensure that the PAR programme meets presidential airlift mission requirements, as well as the president's affordability expectations.
They have also joined forces on a follow-on contract modification, referred to as the Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract modification, which will continue the programme through detailed design, aircraft modification, test and delivery of two presidential mission-ready aircraft, the USAF stated.
The EMD contract modification is expected to be awarded next year.
The Air Force One aircraft will provide the US President with safe air transportation equipped with all mission capabilities.