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The US Air Force has released a sources sought synopsis for a new presidential aircraft to replace the Boeing 747-based VC-25A. The USAF hopes to replace the long-serving jets with a new "Air Force One" by 2021.
The USAF "is conducting market research to identify potential sources that possess the expertise, capabilities and experience to deliver the required capabilities to recapitalise the VC-25A presidential fleet", the document reads. "Responses to this survey will be used to influence the programme's acquisition strategy," it states.
The current two-aircraft VC-25 fleet will reach the end of its 30-year service life in 2017, according to the USAF. But the 747-200-based aircraft have become much more difficult to maintain as its civilian counterpart has become less common in airline operations.