For most of us, when our refrigerator breaks, we run to an appliance store and spend, what most would consider, a sizeable amount of money, approximately $3,000 to $15,000 (Sub-zero brand), for a new one. It is a major appliance purchase and a necessary appliance for food preservation in the home. While some individuals would think it ridiculous to pay $15,000 for a Sub-zero brand refrigerator, the price tag is not as ridiculous as the refrigerators for Air Force One, which costs $24 million dollars.
The Blaze reports:
One reason the refrigerators cost so much is that Air Force One is a heavily modified and customized 747 jet, according to Defense One. The report says the refrigerators and “many other items on the aircraft” are unique and not found on commercial or business aircraft. Additionally, contractors that work on the presidential jet must also have high-level security clearances.
Even so, some people questioned whether the cost is part of a sweetheart contract deal for Boeing, which designs the jets and their required “presidential modifications.” The Defense One report stated that the cost reflects “bespoke equipment requirements put in place by the White House Military Office and the Air Force.”
“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” added Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm. “It’s not getting people rich.”
Excuse me, but what in the world has to be on those refrigerators to cost $24 million dollars! The Blaze goes on to explain.
Air Force One is not equipped with typical refrigerators. The refrigerators on the presidential aircraft are designed hold about 3,000 meals – enough to feed the crew and passengers for weeks. The system includes 26 climate-controlled compartments, according to the report.
The unit is customized to carry 70 cubic feet of refrigerated storage, Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in an email to Defense One. Engineering costs for design, manufacturing, environmental testing, and Federal Aviation Administration certification are included in the price tag.
Stefanek states the refrigerator dates back to 1990.
Many Americans still have refrigerators of that age still in operation in their homes. We do; in fact, we have two in that age range. Stefanek goes on to explain the need for upgrades.
“Although serviced on a regular basis, reliability has decreased with failures increasing, especially in hot/humid environments,” Stefanek explained. “The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage.”
President Donald Trump was critical of the cost of two new Air Force One planes, and at one time threatening to cancel the order if the price was not lowered, Defense One reported.
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.7 million contract to replace two of the chillers in December, Defense One reported. Boeing reportedly referred all questions about the contract to the Air Force.
The work is expected to be finished by October 2019, according to Defense One.
With the 26 climate-controlled compartments and 70 cubic feet for storage for 3,000 meals, it is almost unimaginable the cost would be $24 million dollars. But, it seems whenever the government is involved in purchasing anything, the cost rises exponentially. Remember the line spoken by Julius Levinson in the movie Independence Day – "you don't actually think they spend $20,000 dollars on a hammer, $30,000 dollars on a toilet seat, do you?" One can add $24 million dollars on a refrigerator to the list of "high end" items the taxpayers purchase for use by government officials.
It becomes difficult to believe Richard Aboulafia that someone isn't getting their pockets lined on a deal like this. "It's not a contractor issue, it's a requirement issue" sounds like justification for an outrageous price tag. Is there any contractor who has not enriched itself through providing services to the government? Most would answer no; but, when it comes to Air Force One refrigerators, Aboulafia says these contractors don't. That ocean front property for sale in Arizona is at a discounted price this week.
For $24 million dollars, the refrigerators on Air Force One should be able to engage in a conversation, automatically pop out a meal, and clean itself, as well as be protected from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) with backup systems for the backup systems. Let's not forget a bullet-proof and explosion-proof encasing.
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