Air Force One is set to receive an upgrade of two of its refrigerators, that will cost the taxpayer a whopping $24 million. According to CNN reports, Air Force One has a total of five refrigerators, but only two will be upgraded at that cost.

The refrigerator upgrading contract was awarded to Boeing in December last year by the US Air Force at a cost of $23.6 million which covers only two units, to be replaced with newer, modern and more efficient coolers.

Advertisement
Advertisement

According to Airforce spokesperson Anne Stefanek, the cooler units currently in place, are the original refrigerators that came with the Presidential jet when it was purchased in 1990.

Stefanek told CNN the refrigerators were built according to the technology available in the 90s, which makes them outdated.

Frequent breakdowns

Although the units receive regular service and maintenance, they continue to suffer constant breakdowns and can only sustain food storage for a short period of time, unable to preserve food for longer missions, Stefanek observed.

Stefanek added the two refrigeration units especially encounter problems during hot or humid weather, hence necessitating their complete replacement. The upgrade cost was announced by Defense One earlier in the week.

The huge price tag the upgrade will cost the taxpayer according to the Air Force Spokesperson arises from the fact that the Presidential jet is a unique plane, and the cost will also cover the numerous unique tests that will be undertaken by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Advertisement

According to the DOD contract, the cost includes; prototype design, manufacture, and installation, engineering support services, structural modifications that will see the refrigerated area increased to around 70 cubic feet, environmental testing and obtaining a Federal Aviation Administration certificate.

Cost reactions

In a tweet on Friday, former Senior Advisor to President Obama mocked the high cost of the upgrade, saying if it was done during Obama's time, the entire administration would have risked impeachment.

Obama's administration was forced, owing to a public outcry, to shelve a planned purchase of Presidential helicopters after it emerged the buy would cost the taxpayer $11 billion.

During his presidential campaigns, Trump was highly critical of the high costs involved in the Air Force One upgrade program terming them as unrealistic and 'out of control.' Trump went further to suggest that on assuming office, he would swap the Presidential jet for his private jet during his travels.

Advertisement

Since taking office, however, Trump has continued to travel using Air Force One.

Click to read more