The US Air Force granted Boeing a $23.6 million contract in December to supplant two of the five "frosty chiller units" on board the aircraft utilized by President Donald Trump. Experts say the reason isn't price gouging by Boeing, which makes the jets and handles the presidential modifications, but instead the result of bespoke equipment requirements put in place by the White House Military Office and the Air Force.
The US$24 million contract will cover the costs of engineering support services for the new chillers - including prototype design, manufacturing and installation.
"It's not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue, " said Aboulafia.
While campaigning for the presidency, Trump suggested his own private aircraft was better and that Air Force One would be a step down for him.
Although the new fridges will use standard industry technology, they have a unique capacity to provide about 70 cubic feet of cold storage, meaning crews will not have to re-stock for extended periods of time.
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Homeowners, take comfort: even the appliances on Air Force One break down. "It's not getting people rich". "Fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $23,657,671 are being obligated at the time of award", the contract states.
"During global trips, chillers in the belly of Air Force One keep food for daily meals fresh", ABC News reported.
Despite undergoing maintenance, the fridges' reliability has declined, and they are now unable to support those mission requirements, an Air Force spokesperson said.
The current plane is set to be replaced. They will also undergo strict testing by Boeing and the FAA. But Trump, while campaigning for the presidency, criticised the planned purchase for its $4 billion price tag.
After being elected in November 2016, Trump balked in a December tweet that costs for planned new models of the presidential plane were too high.