A top Air Force general this week said that the red, white, and blue paint scheme chosen by former President Donald Trump may not be the final selection, Defense One reports.
Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, the Air Force military deputy for acquisition, said on Tuesday at the annual Air, Space, and Cyber conference held by the Air Force Association that the final decision about the planes’ color will be made nearer to when the planes are set to enter service, noting that supply chain difficulties have caused the rollout to be delayed.
“At some point, when the build proceeds to where it needs to be, Boeing will come to the government and ask for a final decision on the paint,” Richarson said. “Then when that happens, we'll work that.”
Although the Biden administration’s recent budget request for fiscal 2022 included an image of the color scheme, Richardson said “don’t read anything into” it.
“It's a cartoon — it's not a real airplane,” he added. “It's just something that's on a paper.”
Darlene Costello, the acting Air Force acquisition executive, noted that the Air Force has heard from Boeing that difficulties with one of their subcontractors and ongoing supply chain problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will force the new planes to be delivered a year later than initially planned.
“We are in the midst of completing our schedule risk assessment of that,” she said, which should be completed by the end of the year.
Richardson added that “We're not ready to report out when we think that first flight would be.”
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