What is so special about India’s PM Narendra Modi’s new VVIP aircraft

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking on Independence Day at the Red Fort in Delhi (India Today). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Oct 1, 2020, DNA. A special ‘Air India One’ aircraft built in America for the Prime Minister and President of the country has arrived in India on Thursday, October 1, DNA India reported.

Two high-tech aircraft of ‘Air India One’ landed at Delhi Airport today. The two VVIP aircraft have already taken flight tests at its Boeing headquarters in Chicago. Teams of Air India engineers and pilots of the Indian Air Force fly the Boeing-777 equipped with both missile defence systems from the US.

Although Air India would receive the plane, it will be operated by IAF. It has its own missile defence system, called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS) besides the state-of-the-art communication system.

Air Force Pilots Arrived ‘Air India One’ will be inducted in the Indian VVIP fleet. All tests were completed by 25 September before both the aircraft were delivered to India. The supply of these VVIP aircraft was earlier scheduled for July but due to the corona epidemic, it was delayed. After this, one aircraft was to be delivered in mid-September and the other by the end of September. For this, a team from India reached America but due to some technical reasons, the supply could not be made. So now both VVIP aircraft have been supplied simultaneously. A team of security personnel along with Air India, the Indian Airforce, and some government officials went to America to bring the VVIP aircraft ‘Air India One’ to India.

The specialty of the aircraftThese two new aircraft to India will be used to fly the Prime Minister, President, and Vice President, which will be flown by Air Force pilots. ‘Air India One’ has got painted with Ashok Emblem with one side ‘Bharat’ in Hindi and ‘INDIA’ in English on the other side. ‘Air India One’s tail is having the India National Flag, tricolour painted. The aircraft features advanced electronic warfare suits. Which can not only prevent the aircraft from attack but also retaliate at the time of the attack. This will be the first Indian aircraft being equipped with Self-Protection Suits (SPS) can also jam the enemy’s radar signals and also divert the direction of nearby missiles. The aircraft will have a conference room inside, a cabin for VVIP passengers, a medical center as well as seats for other dignitaries, staff. Once refueled, this aircraft will be able to fly continuously for 17 hours.

Old aircraft will be removedCurrently, the Prime Minister or the President flies an Indian Air Force aircraft for domestic travel and Air India’s Boeing-747 for international travel. After ‘Air India One’ arrival, the 25-year-old Boeing-747 aircraft will be removed from the Air India VVIP fleet. The aircraft currently in India in the VVI fleet can fly continuously for only 10 hours. Like the Air Force aircraft, these new aircraft will also have an unlimited range of flying, which can travel around the world at once. The plane will also be able to refuel mid-air in the event of an emergency. The ‘Air India One’ with twin GE90-115 engine can fly at a maximum speed of 559.33 mph. Both planes are like a strong fort in itself flying in the sky. ‘Air India One’ costs around Rs 8,458 crore.

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