Boeing and contractor lock horns over Air Force One delays

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Air Force One subcontractor GDC Technics filed a lawsuit against Boeing on April 16, 2021, claiming at least $20 million after the planemaker canceled its contracts. 

On April 7, 2021, Boeing reported that Texas-based GDC Technics failed to complete the required interior works on the two 747-8 airliners destined to become the next Air Force One aircraft and were nearly a year behind schedule in fulfilling their contractual obligations. The delays “threaten to jeopardize work that is of critical importance to the (U.S. Air Force) and the president of the United States,” Boeing stated as the reason for launching legal action.

Now, GDC Technics decided to counter-sue, claiming that it was “Boeing’s mismanagement of the completion of two Air Force One presidential aircraft, not delays caused by GDC, that has caused a delay in the completion of those aircraft.” The subcontractor demands $20 million from Boeing.

Since 2007, the USAF has been studying a possible replacement for the two Boeing 747-200Bs, known as VC-25A, currently in service. In July 2018, Boeing received a $3.9 billion contract to convert two 747-8s to the Air Force One standards, with a delivery set for December 2024. 

Those standards include but are not limited to an advanced radar system, a radar jam system, flare and chaff countermeasures to protect it from incoming missiles, and very-low-frequency radio systems that allow communication with submerged submarines. It is unknown at this point if the delays described by Boeing will affect the delivery date.


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