Pentagon Needs A New Air Force One
A new Air Force One presidential transport has appeared in the latest version of the Pentagon’s aviation plans, marking the first time the Pentagon has included a replacement for the long-serving Boeing 747 jet transport.
Installation of new, sensitive communications equipment could begin on the aircraft as soon as 2019, according to the Pentagon.
The plans don’t specify a specific aircraft model, but it could be an updated executive version of the 747, known in military service as the VC-25.
Inclusion of the presidential transport “is significant,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group. “It doesn’t happen very often and there are some enabling new technologies.”
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said last year the service would need to look at replacing its two VC-25s later this decade.
“We have recognized for several years now that the Air Force One replacement is out there in our future in the late teens,” Donley said during a Sept. 19, 2011, briefing at an Air Force Association conference.
The two aircraft that serve as Air Force One began flying in 1990 and 1991, respectively, according to a service fact sheet.
Source: 11 April 2011 - dailyairforce News
Photo: The U.S. Air Force Boeing 747 (Air Force One) VIP Jet Transport (dailyairforce.com)
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