New Delhi: The second of two Boeing 777 aircraft modified for the travel of President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Delhi on Saturday.
On October 1, the first aircraft which was modified will give generous office space and meeting rooms was landed in Delhi.
In 2018, the two aircrafts – Boeing 777-300 ERs joined Air India’s fleet. It was then sent for customisation to a Boeing facility in Dallas.
The two planes have missile defence systems which are lauded to be on the standards with the US President’s Air Force One. The two identical Boeing 747-200B series aircraft are likely to be replaced in 2024.
The two upgraded Boeing 747s are expected to cost $4.6 billion (Rs 34,044.6 crore) by the time they will be fully ready to fly.
It’s India’s first set of dedicated aircraft for the three dignitaries who will be able to fly non-stop to the United States.
Earlier, the two aircrafts were scheduled to be delivered in August. Later, the date was pushed back due to “certain operational issues”.
The aircrafts will be flown by the pilots drawn from Air India and the Indian Air Force, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The aircrafts have been equipped with self-protection suites (SPS) and consists of aircraft infrared countermeasures, advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite and also counter-measures dispensing system to protect them from any inbound missiles.
It would improve India’s capability to deter any threats and will facilitate “a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.”