The US Air Force yesterday posted the following request for information on the Federal Business Opportunities web site.
Let the 747-8I versus A380 debate commence!
The United States Air Force is conducting market research toidentify potential sources that possess the expertise, capabilities,and experience to meet the requirements of the next generationPresidential fixed-wing aircraft. The current VC-25 Air Force One,based on the 747-200 airframe, was purchased in 1987 and delivered in1990 with a 30 year design life. As 747-200s have been retired fromairline service, parts and maintenance are becoming increasinglyexpensive. The Air Force conducted an Analysis of Alternatives toexamine if it would be more cost effective to maintain the current AirForce One, or to buy a new aircraft. Given the diminishing partssupplier base, increasing maintenance time, and system upgrades thatwould be necessary to meet future air traffic control requirements, itwas found that replacing the VC-25 was the most cost effective option.
The PAR aircraft will be a new-build, commercial derivative,wide-body aircraft, uniquely modified to meet the current and projectedrequirements for the worldwide transportation of the Office of thePresident. Modifications regarding passenger communications,information systems, interior work & rest environment, and aerialrefueling must be accomplished before delivery of the aircraft. Thedelivery of the first operationally capable aircraft is required inFY17, with delivery of the second and third aircraft in FY19 and FY21,respectively. The PAR aircraft must maintain the highest possiblemission capable rate.
The PAR aircraft will provide the President of the United States,staff, and guests with safe and reliable air transportation with theappropriate level of security and communications capability. Missioncommunications must provide secure, interoperable command, control, andcommunications, using net-centric architectures.
The interior must provide a work and rest environment suitable forthe President, guests, and traveling staff. The interior configurationmust provide the President with ample work and conference areas(including sleeping, lavatory, shower, and dressing areas). Theinterior must be accessible to the physically impaired. The interiormust be configured with galleys that provide the aircrew with thecapability to prepare, serve, and store food and beverages. It mustalso provide for housekeeping and waste disposal.
The modified aircraft will be Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)certified, and will meet projected aviation requirements to conductworldwide flight operations in all civil and military airspace asdefined by the FAA, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),and Department of Defense (DOD).