Manuals for Trump's new Air Force One cost almost as much as an F-35 stealth fighter

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A model of the new Air Force One design sits on a table as President Donald Trump, right, meets with Colombian President Ivan Duque in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, March 2, 2020, in Washington.

A model of the new Air Force One design sits on a table as President Donald Trump, right, meets with Colombian President Ivan Duque in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, March 2, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The new instruction manuals for President Donald Trump's new Air Force One cost $84 million, close to the cost of a F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

The U.S. Air Force is paying Boeing $84 million to "modify commercial manuals," specifically update them "with VC-25B-specific information and deliver integrated manuals for the VC-25B system," an Air Force contracting announcement first noticed by The War Zone and posted Wednesday reads.

In February 2018, the White House struck a $3.9 billion deal with Boeing for a new VC-25B aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-8, to replace the VC-25A aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-200, currently used by the president. The costs are especially notable because Trump has said he personally negotiated lower prices with Boeing.

The program is actually a bit more expensive, as Defense One learned last year.

"The total VC-25B acquisition cost … is $5.3B and encompasses all costs associated with fielding the system," an Air Force spokeswoman told the outlet. "The additional costs beyond the $3.90B are for standard work outside of the Boeing contract scope for two aircraft."

The higher price figure, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense One Thursday, includes the cost of the new instruction manuals.

As The War Zone notes, military technical documentation is costly. For example, a new structural repair manuals for the P-8A Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft set the Navy back more than $30 million.

The Air Force announced last month that the modification of two Boeing 747-8 aircraft for the VC-25B program is already underway at a Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas. The service revealed that the future Air Force One, as compared to the commercial variants, will feature "electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, executive interior, and autonomous ground operations capabilities."

According to the Department of Defense, it will "provide the President, staff, and guests with safe and reliable air transportation at the same level of security and communications capability available in the White House."

The new planes are not expected to be put into service until at least 2024, and the instruction manuals are not required to be complete until 2025. 

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