The US Air Force (USAF) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to Boeing to complete detailed design, modification, test and fielding of two passenger-carrying Boeing 747-8s to provide presidential worldwide airlift support.
The Presidential Aircraft Recapitalisation (PAR) programme will replace presidential air transport VC-25A in the 2024 timeframe.
The RFP was released following authorisation from US under secretary of defence for acquisition, technology and logistics Frank Kendall, which will enable to continue a deliberate step-by-step approach to reduce programme and cost risk.
The proposal will allow Boeing to apply the results of the ongoing risk reduction activities to the proposal for the contract modification.
The 747-8 will be modified to include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, executive interior, a self-defence system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.
Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) programme manager colonel Amy McCain said: “This is a significant step forward for this programme, which emphasises cost control and risk reduction, in balance with system performance, to meet the requirements of the presidential mission.
“We are committed to providing the (Executive) Office of the President of the United States with safe, reliable air transportation that provides high levels of security and communication capability.”
A third production representative aircraft is still under consideration for future procurement.
McCain added: “The results of our ongoing risk reduction efforts are providing data that we can use to make sound decisions regarding the requirements and design trade-offs.
"These requirements decisions will then be applied to Boeing’s EMD proposal.
“We are focused on driving out costs where we can, to ensure this programme is affordable.”