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Program works to reduce risk on next Air Force One

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force awarded a contract modification to Boeing July 15 to continue risk reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, which will field the next Air Force One.

Future modifications will be made to this contract to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, as well as to design, modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.

These efforts are another step in a deliberate process to control program risk and life cycle costs. This contract modification provides for risk reduction activities needed to address PAR sustainment requirements and costs and are additional to those initially awarded on Jan. 29. These activities will most notably focus on the system specification, environmental control system, aircraft interior, electrical and power system, and sustainment/maintenance approaches. They will aid in further defining detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions that will lead to a lower risk engineering and manufacturing development program and lower life cycle costs.

“The information from these studies is essential for us to make informed decisions on the design and modifications to the 747-8 aircraft, which will have long-term impacts to sustainment costs of the next Air Force One,” said Col. Amy McCain, the PAR program manager. “All of the different modifications to the aircraft need to work together seamlessly. As we understand more about how to meet the detailed requirements, we can make deliberate choices to lower the cost and risks to the program.”

The Air Force will award the majority of the program on a separate contract action after the results of the risk reduction activities are known.

The PAR program will replace the VC-25A in the 2024 time frame through a highly tailored acquisition program. Parts obsolescence and diminishing sources for replacement parts are driving increased costs and increasing out of service times for heavy maintenance to maintain Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness standards. That time has already grown to well over a year per heavy maintenance cycle, significantly limiting availability for presidential support.

The PAR program requirements are documented in the capability development document, which was approved in November 2014. The acquisition strategy to replace Air Force One was approved by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics on Sept. 4, 2015.

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