The US government is in the process of renewing Air Force One, revealing this week that US aviation giant Boeing has won an initial contract toward building the next presidential planes.
The Seattle, Washington, company won the 25-million-dollar contract, which is aimed at making the programme more affordable and efficient, the Pentagon said Friday in announcing the award.
The contract is for planning-stage activities that will "lead to a lower-risk engineering and manufacturing development programme and lower life-cycle costs," the Pentagon said.
Boeing, which has built every president's jet since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, was the only bidder.
The two Boeing 747-8 jets must undergo extensive modification, including being outfitted with sophisticated communications equipment and other security upgrades.
Work will be performed at Seattle and Everett, Washington, and is expected to be complete by April 2017, but the jets are not expected to go into service until after 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The two jet currently used by President Barack Obama are 747-200 models ordered by Ronald Reagan that have been in service since 1990, according to the White House Museum's website.
The Pentagon hasn’t announced the overall cost estimate for the two new planes. Earlier budget estimates put the figure at more than 1.6 billion dollars, the Journal reported.