Boeing CEO says he’ll build Air Force Ones for less than $4 billion after Trump meeting

Boeing will build the new Air Force One for less than $4 billion, the CEO told reporters Wednesday after meeting with President-elect Trump.

Dennis Muilenburg, the Boeing CEO, praised Trump for his “business head” and said the two had a very productive meeting where they discussed how the country could build two new Air Force One planes for less than the $4 billion, which Trump criticized on Twitter this month.


“We’re going to get it done for less than that,” Muilenburg said. “I was able to give the president-elect my personal commitment on behalf of the Boeing Company. This is a business that’s important to us. We work on Air Force One because it’s important to our country and we’re going to make sure that he gets the best capability and that it’s done affordably.”


When asked about the timeline, Muilenburg said “that’s what we’re going to work on together.”


“We have an active 747 production line and we’re eager to get started on the program. We haven’t actually started the build of the airplane yet, but once we finalize the requirements and make sure that it’s affordable we’ll launch on building the aircraft. We’ve got a hot production line and we’re ready to go.”


The meeting comes weeks after Trump tweeted that the costs of the F-35 from Lockheed Martin are “out of control” and threatened to cancel the order with Boeing for the new Air Force One over costs.


Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, met with Trump following the meeting with Muilenburg. She left without stopping to answer questions from reporters.


She later put out a statement saying it was a “productive meeting.”


“I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the importance of the F-35 program and the progress we’ve made in bringing the costs down,” she said. “The F-35 is a critical program to our national security, and I conveyed our continued commitment to delivering an affordable aircraft to our U.S. military and our allies.”


Trump met with the defense industry during the campaign in June. The hour-long sit down included representatives from the Aerospace Industries Association, as well as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.


Following the CEO meetings, Trump received a two-part security briefing from a number of defense officials, including Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the program executive officer for the F-35, Vice Adm. James Syring, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, and Adm. Bill Moran, the vice chief of naval operations.


“These are amazing people,” Trump told reporters after the briefing.


Trump said the meeting was about “trying to bring costs down … primarily the F-35, trying to get the costs down. A program that is very, very expensive.”

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