Wow! Loaded with missile defence system, brand new Air India One for PM, other VVIPs to arrive today

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Updated: Oct 01, 2020 2:26 PM

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing was scheduled to deliver the VVIP aircraft Air India One to Air India during the month of August, news agency reported quoting officials.

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India will receive, at 3 pm today, one of the two custom-made B777 aircraft which will be used by the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, PTI reported citing government officials. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing was scheduled to deliver the VVIP aircraft Air India One to Air India during the month of August, news agency reported quoting officials. However, it was delayed due to technical reason, the officials said.

Senior officials of Air India had reached the US during the first half of August to receive the custom-made B777 aircraft from the manufacturer –Boeing. According to the report, the VVIP aircraft Air India One will land at the Delhi airport from Texas at around 3 pm on Thursday.

Boeing is likely to deliver the second custom-made B777 aircraft, which will also be used for the travel of VVIPs, during a later date, according to senior officials from Air India. The delivery of both planes was scheduled to complete by July. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their delivery has been delayed by a few months, officials said.

Both the B777 aircraft will be operated by pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF), not of Air India, during the travel of the VVIPs, the report said, citing an Air India official.

Both the aircraft will carry the call sign Air India One. Currently, the president, vice president and the prime minister fly on Air India’s B747 planes, which have the call sign Air India One. Both the aircraft will have state-of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS), according to the report.

Generally, Air India pilots fly these B747 aircraft for VIPs; Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) maintains these planes. The new planes will be used for travel of the dignitaries only.

These two aircraft were part of Air India’s commercial fleet for a few months in 2018 before they were sent back to Boeing for retrofitting them for VVIP travel.

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