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“Boeing’s Air India One” : Customized Aircraft For President, Vice President & Prime Minister , See Pics

New Delhi: The first of the two Boeing B777 customized aircraft landed at the IGI Airport on Thursday. Especially back fitted with the latest self-defense protection suite for VVIP transport duties, the aircraft will now be handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF). Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu will be the primary fliers on these planes. Other top Indian dignitaries will also be granted access to this fleet.

The aircraft hosts several security-related features such as hi-tech missile defense protection suites like ‘Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures’.The cost of procuring and customizing these wide-body planes, which is reported to house all kinds of luxuries in it, is estimated to cost the exchequer a whopping Rs 8,458 crores.

Interesting things about Narendra Modi’s new planes to take note of:
The planes were roped in from the Boeing HQ in Florida and will start complete functionality from July 2020, according to a senior official from the Indian Air Force.While the B747 Air India planes, which are the aircraft currently used by the PM Modi and President Kovind, were flown by Air India pilots.In fact, five IAF pilots have already begun training on the flying methods and operations of this custom-made plane.

The new Boeing 777 planes have been customized with state-of-the-art interiors and are the epitome of luxury and safety. The planes also have a unique anti-missile defense system comprising Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS), both developed by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Missile warning sensors (WMS), control interface unit (CIU), a laser transmitter assembly, and processors to detect, track, jam, and counter incoming infrared missiles are some other features of the LAIRCM. The IAF pilots are receiving training on the operation of these systems as well.

In February 2019, the US agreed to sell the two defense systems to India at a cost of total Rs 1,357 crores. Apart from the uber safe defense system, the wide-body plane also boasts a swanky conference room, VIP enclosures, on-board WiFi, and a patient transport unit for medical emergencies. The planes that are generally used for passenger transport, have been heavily modified for them to qualify as VVIP fleet. The designs are also speculated to take inspiration from the US Air Force One.

An estimate of the cost that includes the price of the plane to be Rs 2,600 crores and defense systems at Rs 1,350 crores each, Rs 782 crores for the spare engine, and Rs 942 crores as cabin overhaul cost, taking the final price of the planes to an estimate of Rs 8,458 crores.

Boeing was able to provide the latest technology to the aircraft due to India-US high-tech deal, IANS reported adding that “in terms of livery, the aircraft dons the national emblem and the name ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ written in both Hindi and English on either side of the aircraft, while the national flag is present on the tail wing.”The aircraft is equipped with an advanced communication system allowing midair audio and video communication without being hacked.

The plane was scheduled to arrive back in July 2020 but the delivery for delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Meanwhile, there is no clarity on the delivery date of the second aircraft.

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