The Air Force is spending nearly $24 million to upgrade its Air Force One refrigerators for the first time since 1990.
In December, Boeing was awarded a contract worth $23,657,671 for “engineering support services” for two chillers onboard Air Force One.
The cost includes prototype design, manufacturing, procurement, installation and testing, according to the Defense Department.
The contract states that the new chillers are expected to be completed and installed by October 2019.
Defense One first reported the news.
The Air Force One fleet consists of two heavily modified Boeing 747 aircraft, but it was unclear if each plane will be receiving a new chiller unit.
The chiller units being replaced are the original commercial equipment delivered with the aircraft in 1990, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told Air Force Times in a statement.
“The units were based on the technology at the time and designed for short-term food storage,” McAndrews said.
Even though the chillers are serviced on a regular basis, they’ve become less reliable, especially in hot or humid environments.
“The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage,” she said.
The new units will provide nearly 70 cubic feet of temperature-controlled storage to support personnel onboard the aircraft for an extended period of time without having to be resupplied.
This includes the ability to store about 3,000 meals in refrigerators and freezers below the passenger cabin, Defense One reported.
There are five chillers and 26 climate-controlled compartments onboard Air Force One, according to the Air Force. The two units being replaced include eight climate-controlled compartments.
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