Friday, 02 Oct, 1.55 am The Hans India

Air India One, equipped with missile systems, lands in Delhi

New Delhi: The long wait for 'Air India One' for India's VVIP fleet is over. 'Air India One' aircraft has arrived at the Delhi International Airport. The first of the two 'Air India One' aircraft purchased for the President, Vice President and Prime Minister arrived in India on Thursday evening.

The aircraft was scheduled to be delivered by aircraft manufacturer Boeing to Air India in July but its delivery was delayed twice - once in July for a few weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic and then in August for a few weeks due to technical reasons - Aviation ministry officials said.

Air India One is equipped with an advanced missile defence systems and secured communication systems that allow availing audio and video communication functions mid-air without any worries of hacking or being taped," sources familiar with the details said.

The 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 very attractive, which was modified recently by Boeing, apart from other customisations.

"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," informed the sources.

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 aircraft will be operated fully by IAF pilots in due course of time.

The colour of Air India Boeing 777 had been totally changed including changes to the design of the aircraft as per the recommendations and further approval by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

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