The Air Force is working with the White House Office of Military Requirements to adjust what is needed in the next-generation Air Force One. Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Carlton Everhart said he had a “very interesting conversation” with then-President elect Donald Trump at his resort in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., where he raised his concerns about the cost of the next Air Force One. The meeting helped the Air Force “understand a little bit of the perspective of what our Commander in Chief desires,” Everhart told reporters at AWS17. The White House Office of Military Requirements also is working with other groups, such as the Secret Service, to outline what is needed for the aircraft, then USAF will go back to programming the acquisition phase, Everhart said. President Trump “knows airplanes” and has been very interested in the program, Everhart said. The Air Force has so far awarded about $170 million for risk reduction on the program, with plans to field at least two modified 747-8 jets in 2024.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.