At the end of 2017, Boeing received an Air Force contract worth $23,657,671 to replace a pair of refrigerators on Air Force One.
According to a report from Business Insider, Air Force One needs work on two chillers to "improve reliability and maintainability." The work is scheduled to be completed by October 30, 2019.
For those of you who may think that this smells an awful lot like pork in the budget, you must consider that the aircraft has to be able to carry up to 3,000 meals. In the event that Air Force One is used as a mobile command center, the aircraft could go weeks without resupply, and still provide for the many people on board.
Air Force One has five chillers that refrigerate 26 compartments underneath the passenger cabin. The two chillers in question supply eight of those 26. The current units have lasted nearly 20 years, and were installed in 1990.
According to a report by Defense One, the work is so expensive because these are not your typical refrigeration systems that you see on commercial aircraft, they are unique to Air Force One. Also, the contractors working on the project need to maintain high-level security clearances.
President Donald Trump has been critical of the Air Force One Contract. After he won the election in 2016, he tweeted that costs for the aircraft were "out of control." We'll see how he feels about his new $24 million ice boxes.
This is IEN Now with David Mantey.