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Home / India News / Second Boeing aircraft for Prez, PM arrives

Second Boeing aircraft for Prez, PM arrives

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which had notified the US Congress about its decision to sell the defence system earlier this year, had put its cost at about $ 190 million.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 02:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The two aircraft - Boeing 777-300 ERs - had joined Air India’s fleet in 2018 and had been sent to a Boeing facility in Dallas for customisation.
The two aircraft - Boeing 777-300 ERs - had joined Air India’s fleet in 2018 and had been sent to a Boeing facility in Dallas for customisation.

The second specially modified Boeing 777 aircraft, part of the Air India One fleet for VVIPs including the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister, landed on Sunday.

The aircraft can fly between the US and India without having to stop for refuelling.

The first modified aircraft had arrived on October 1 after being delayed by more than a month; officials had cited certain “operational issues” with the aircraft.

The two aircraft - Boeing 777-300 ERs - had joined Air India’s fleet in 2018 and had been sent to a Boeing facility in Dallas for customisation.

The Centre had sent a team of senior officials from the Indian Air Force and Air India for escorting the aircraft back to India and assessing the technical requirements.

The government has planned to procure two such specially modified Boeing-777 aircraft, capable of countering missile threats with their own missile defence system, called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS).

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which had notified the US Congress about its decision to sell the defence system earlier this year, had put its cost at about $ 190 million.

The modified aircraft are set to match the US President’s Air Force One in terms of security measures.

Air India One is the call sign of any aircraft with the President or Prime Minister of India on board. The aircraft is operated as a VVIP flight by the Indian Air Force.

The new long-haul aircraft will be used exclusively by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

At present, the three dignitaries fly Air India’s Boeing 747 planes that the state-run airline deploys on commercial flights. These are temporarily reconfigured for the dignitaries when they need to travel, with the call sign changing to Air India One.

The Boeing- 747 planes that are chartered from Air India for use by the three dignitaries are two decades old.

The modified aircraft will also have ‘Bharat’ and India written on them along with the Ashoka emblem. The new planes have been configured to provide generous office space, meeting rooms, a wide array of communication systems and a section for handling medical emergencies.

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