This picture is being widely shared by as one of the refitted Boeing 777-300s as Air Force One 

The two Boeing planes that will serve as Air India One are set to arrive soon. What is their strength and what are the features of these planes? Read on to know more

India is all set to receive two wide-bodied Boeing 777-300ERs to serve as the new VIP transport for the President, Vice President and Prime Minister. The new jets will arrive in July 2020 as a replacement to the ageing 747s that have hitherto served as Air India One.

Air India One is not a plane but rather a callsign for any plane with the President, Vice President or Prime Minister on board. some speculate that the new Boeing 777s being fitted with advanced defence systems and Air India likely to be sold off, it is entirely possible that as the 777s will be entirely operated by the IAF the “Air India One” callsign will he retired. This is not confirmed by the government and, at best, remains speculation.

All these years four 747-400s, owned and operated by Air India, served the roles on long-haul international routes. Replacing these legacy planes are two new Boeing 777-300ERs that are a part of a larger delivery order placed with Boeing in 2006. The rest of the planes are already in operation in Air India. These two planes were delivered in 2018 but were returned to Boeing to carry out the upgrade and retrofitting work.

The 777 is not new to being used as a VIP transport. Japan, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia are nations that routinely use the plane for similar purposes.

Features of Air India One 777

  1. The plane's advance defence systems will call for training of pilots under Indian Air Force instructors. Traditionally, Air India pilots have been flying the Air India One planes
  2. The planes manufactured at Boeing’s facility in Dallas (USA) are retrofitted with advanced military defence systems and a reconfigured cabin
  3. The plane will feature twin GE90-115 engines, a variant of the engine made for the -300ER. It can fly at 900 kph
  4. For the security of the president, PM, vice-president flying in them, the government has opted for state-of-the-art military defence systems to be fitted into those planes
  5. One of the systems is the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS)
  6. These systems will protect the aircraft in case of an unfortunate event of it suffering damage in the air
  7. The planes cost $190m purchase and were customised only after a nod from the US State department approval due to its military nature
  8. The planes will feature Advanced Electronic Warfare Suites. This feature enables the plane to not only fend off an attack but also take countermeasures in case of an attack
  9. The 747-400 which currently serves as Air India One only has retrofitted security measures and otherwise serves commercial flights
  10. The new Air India One 777, likely modelled after the USA's own Air Force One, will now be as secure