By David Shepardson and Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing (NYSE:) Co said Thursday it had filed a suit against and canceled contracts with a Texas-based supplier for Air Force One, the aircraft that carriers the U.S. president, over delays in completing interior work on the two heavily modified 747-8 planes.
The U.S. planemaker said in a statement it had canceled contracts “with GDC Technics … due to their insolvency and failure to meet contractual obligations.” GDC Technics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Boeing said in its suit filed in Texas state court on Wednesday the delays “have resulted in millions of dollars in damages to Boeing and threaten to jeopardize work that is of critical importance to the (U.S. Air Force) and the president of the United States.”
The Air Force referred questions to Boeing.
In July 2018, Boeing received a $3.9 billion contract to build two 747-8 aircraft for use as Air Force One, due to be delivered by December 2024. A Boeing spokeswoman said the planemaker still planned to meet the Air Force’s delivery schedule.
GDC, which “agreed to design and build the interior” of the two Air Force One planes, is “roughly one year behind schedule in meeting its contractual obligations,” Boeing said in its suit first reported by Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
The Boeing 747-8s are designed to be an airborne White House, able to fly in worst-case security scenarios such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defense system.
In 2018, then President Donald Trump said the new model Air Force One would have upgraded interiors and a different color scheme from the white and two shades of blue that has been used since President John F. Kennedy’s administration.
In January, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden “has not spent a moment thinking about the color scheme of Air Force One.”
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