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UK To Have Its First Presidential Aircraft, Nothing Like Air Force One

November 21, 2015 - For the first time in British history, the country's Prime Minister will have his owe military aircraft and not have to rely on charter flights from privately owned air carriers.

British Prime Minister David Cameron will be the first Prime Minister to be provided with an aircraft, "Cam Force One" that will be taxpayer funded and appoint to the Prime Minister. The UK is one of handful major countries that does not have a presidential fleet.


As with the United States, the president has been provided with an military aircraft since 1943. This aircraft is better know as Air Force One when its carrying the President of the United States. The Royal Air Force will provide the Minister with an Airbus A330MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) Voyager. The A330MRTT which is based on the civilian Airbus A330-200 wide-body airliner is currently used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aerial refueling tanker. 

The Airbus A330MRTT will be factory converted into a presidential aircraft, it will be retrofitted to provide a state of the art communications system, 158 passenger seats and accommodations for sleeping and a conference area. The Airbus A330MRTT aircraft cost in an excess of $200 million per aircraft, the aircraft has a cruise speed of 534 mph and a maximum speed of 547 mph with a 8,000 nautical miles. The conversion of this aircraft will cost the RAF in the neighborhood of $15 million. It is expected to save the UK taxpayers $1.2 million a year for the next 20 years over the current cost of roughly $10,000 per hour for a charter flight, a savings of $3,000 per hour. 

The British government has reported the aircraft will retain the Royal Air Force livery and be used as a tanker (don't see that happening for the most obvious reasons) when not deployed for official travel. In addition, the aircraft would be available to the Royal Family's use. This maybe a hard sell for the average UK worker given the state of the economy and the fact that most UK government departments are facing budget cuts of at least 25% over the next four years.



Back in 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron made headlines when he flew to the United States commercially for his first official visit. Prime Minister Tony Blair attempted to acquire a presidential aircraft but it was latter squashed by his successor, Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At present there is no date on when the aircraft will be delivered. However, there is speculation it could be as early as next year. A UK spokesperson said, "As part of the government's defense review, we have been looking at ways to make better use of the RAF fleet to transport senior ministers and consequently deliver savings for taxpayers." The UK government has said there will be "Absolute transparency".

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