Defense Secretary James MattisÂ has called for separate assessments of Boeingâs Air Force OneÂ aircraft replacement program and the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter aircraft after President Donald Trump raised concerns about the programsâ costs, Bloomberg reported Saturday.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said in a statement the reviews seek to âinform programmatic and budgetary decisions, recognizing the critical importance of each of these acquisition programsâ and should start immediately, Nafeesa Syeed,Â Anthony Capaccio andÂ Rick Clough write.
âWe have been responsive in providing information to the Trump administration and we look forward to continuing that dialogue as this process moves forward,â Todd Blecher, a spokesman for Boeing, told Bloomberg in a phone interview.
Mattis said in a directive the deputy defense secretary will be responsible for the F-35 review that aims to identify ways on how to cut the fighter jetâs cost as well as compare the aircraft with Boeingâs F/A-18E/FÂ Super Hornet jetâs operational capabilities to determine whether the latter could be updated to serve as an alternative to the Navyâs F-35 version, Bloomberg reports.
The review of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program aims to evaluate areas that could be targeted for cost-reduction efforts such as aircraft power generation, communications platforms, cooling systems and autonomous operations, according to a report byÂ Rebecca Kheel for The Hill.
The Government Accountability OfficeÂ said in a March 2016 report the procurement of two new Air Force One planes, which are expected to be operational by 2023, could reach approximately $3.2 billion in total cost, the report added.