• The White House awarded Boeing a $3.9 billion contract (around R52 billion) to build two 747-8 aircraft for use as Air Force One by the U.S. president.
  • The agreement comes after U.S. president Trump's objections to the intitial $4 billion deal.
  • The aircraft's iconic baby blue and white colours are being changed to to red, white and blue.

It's official, Air Force One is getting a makeover.

"It's gonna be the top of the line, the top of the world," says US President, Donald Trump.

On Tuesday the Pentagon said it has handed Boeing a R52 billion ($3.9 billion) contract to construct new jets for use by the US president.

The company will build two 747-8 aircraft to be delivered to the White House by 2024.

"Boeing gave us a good deal," says Trump.

The deal comes after Trump objected to a previous deal with a $4 billion price tag. He took to Twitter to complain about Boeing in December saying 'costs are out of control — cancel order!'
A new informal deal was reached between Boeing and the White House in February. The contract on Tuesday follows the outlines of that deal.

The biggest change

Trump says he wondered "if we should use the same baby blue colours — and we're not. The new colours are red, white and blue."

The current Air Force One owes it's iconic blue-and-white look to former US President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy.

Technically, any aircraft the president boards becomes Air Force One.

The 747-8s Boeing are designed to be an airborne White House, able to fly in the worst-case security scenarios including nuclear war.

The White House says the new deal would save US taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, but those savings couldn't be independently confirmed.

Receive a single email every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: