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Next US Presidential Aircraft to Be Based on Boeing 747-8

© REUTERS / Robert Sorbo/FilesThe Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental takes off on its maiden flight from Paine Field, in Everett, Washington
The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental takes off on its maiden flight from Paine Field, in Everett, Washington - Sputnik International
Boeing 747-8 will serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One.

WASHINGTON, January 29 (Sputnik) — Boeing 747-8 aircraft will be modified to serve as an official airplane for the US president, according to the US Air Force press release.

“[US] Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, in coordination with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, has determined the Boeing 747-8 will serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One,” the press release published Wednesday said.

Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States, which meets “the necessary capabilities, established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest,” the release explained. In particular, the requirements include four-engines and wide aircraft body. The Boeing 747-8 will be modified to missionize the aircraft and planned to serve 30 years.

“This decision is not a contract award to procure 747-8 aircraft, we still need to finalize the overall acquisition strategy and conduct risk-reduction activities with Boeing to inform the engineering and manufacturing development contract negotiations that will define the capabilities and cost,” Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization Program Manager Amy McCain was quoted as saying in the press release.

“The Air Force provides the president with safe and reliable air transportation with high levels of security and communication capability as the alternate airborne White House. This platform will meet the requirements necessary to provide that level of service for future presidents,” Secretary of the Air Force concluded, according to the press release.

Currently, US President Barack Obama uses VC-25 transport aircraft fleet, which consists of two specially configured Boeings 747. The difference with the standard Boeing 747 is the cutting edge navigation, electronic and communications equipment, as well as the capability for in-flight refueling. When US president is aboard an aircraft the radio call sign is "Air Force One," according to US Air Force.

© RIA NovostiBoeing 747-8 Intercontinnetal passenger jet
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinnetal passenger jet  - Sputnik International
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinnetal passenger jet
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