Air Force One's new refrigerators will cost taxpayers $23.6 million, report

POTUS has previously voiced his dissonance for the sky-high presidential aircraft costs

Air Force One, the US President's plane, is set for an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost taxpayers almost US$24 million (S$31 million), according to media reports. "It's not getting people rich".

The US Air Force are replacing two of the five chiller units on the plane now used by President Donald Trump.

Requirements of refrigerators on Air Force One include the need to store up to 3,000 meals on the 747 jumbo jet, supplying enough food to feed passengers and crew for weeks.

The $24 million will also cover the cost of testing and certification by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the contract.

The plane now needs additional cold food storage space "to support onboard personnel for an extended period of time, without having to restock while overseas", Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email.

Despite undergoing maintenance, the fridges' reliability has declined, and they are now unable to support those mission requirements, an Air Force spokesperson said.

"The units and related aircraft auxiliary alterations are by and large extraordinarily meant to give about 70 cubic feet of temperature-controlled (refrigeration/cooler) stockpiling to help on-load up staff for a broadened timeframe, without restocking while overseas", Stefanek told CNN.




Last week, Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, released travel records from the US Department of the Air Force, which showed Trump's flights on Air Force One have cost taxpayers a total of $13,533,937.28 so far.

Work related to the upgrade will be carried out in Oklahoma City, San Antonio and other cities, and the work is expected to be done by the end of October 2019, the contract stated.

Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz took to Twitter to note that Barack Obama "would have been impeached" had the previous administration pulled the same stunt.

Five such chillers cool 26 climate-controlled compartments, the Air Force says, according to Weisgerber.

She added that while Air Force One is regularly maintained, there have been increasing failures with the chillers due to "hot/humid environments".

Subscribe to the Defense One daily. Boeing held on to them while it looked for a new buyer, though the Air Force has not said how much it paid for the planes.

In December 2016, President Donald Trump criticized the high costs of the Boeing-led program to replace the two Boeing 747-200-based VC-25A aircraft that began serving as the presidential jets in 1990.

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