Special ‘Air India One’ for VVIPs lands in Delhi

Equipped with missile defence systems, the first of the two such aircraft will be used to fly the President, Vice President and PM.

Air India
Air India

The wait for “Air India One”, the specially modified Boeing 777 aircraft for India’s VVIP fleet, is over. “Air India One” aircraft has arrived at the Delhi International Airport. The first of the two VVIP “Air India One” aircraft will be used to fly the President, Vice President and Prime Minister. 

“Air India One” is equipped with advanced and secured communication system which allows availing audio and video communication functions mid-air without any worries of hacking or being taped. 

The VVIP aircraft B-777 is a replacement of wide-body aircraft Boeing B-747 jumbo aircraft whose call sign is “Air India One”. The interior design of the aircraft is attractive, which was modified recently by Boeing, apart from other customizations.

 An official said, “The aircraft has a big suit/cabin for the VVIP. A mini medical centre has also been set up in the aircraft. It also has a standard space for the press. The rear seats are of the Economy class category, while the rest of the seats are business class. B777 aircraft can fly over 17 hours continuously.” 

Air India received the aircraft which will be handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF). Followed by it, the new aircraft will be de-registered and fresh registration SOP will be placed in the process because the VVIP aircraft will operate under IAF. Air India pilots will also be a part of the aircraft operating team till the IAF pilots gain expertise in handling the variant. Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) will take care of the maintenance of the aircraft.

 The new Boeing 777 aircraft for VVIP guests is also equipped with advanced defence systems and will be operated fully by IAF pilots in due course of time. The first of the two Boeing 777- 300 Extended Range (ER) aircraft is retrofitted with advanced security systems to jam and defeat incoming missiles and encrypted communications facilities.

 B777 planes will have state of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and SelfProtection Suites (SPS). The US agreed to sell the two defence systems to India at a cost of $190 million. The total cost of purchase and retrofitting the two planes has been estimated to be around Rs 8,400 crore.