In the last week of Aug 2020, India was likely to receive the first of two VVIP business jet that will be used to fly India’s Prime minister, President, and Vice- President. These planes are closely modeled after famed US Air Force One which flies the President of United States and taking a cue from US design the Indian versions will be called Air India One. Thus, Team Guarding India brings you the story of new high-tech planes of Indian PM Narendra Modi that has just arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport Today.
Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister had two types of planes to fly him abroad. For flying inside India and to its neighboring countries, Indian VVIPs used to fly in Boeing 737 jets held by Indian Air Force. For international visits, Indian VVIPs used to fly in regular planes of national carrier Air India which use to fly civilians while not employed on VVIP duties. These planes lacked any defensive features and had limited communication capability which was considered a drawback as Indian PM also holds India’s nuclear button and he must always be connected to India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) which controls Indian nuclear launch platforms.
The Air India One is based on Boeing 777-300ER (Extended range) versions that can be continuously airborne for 17 hours and India has purchased two such planes. The appearance of these planes will be majestic as they will be painted white with Indian Tricolors painted on tail with Indian Air Force roundels on wings. Additionally, India and Bharat will be written on both sides of new Air India One that will give a distinctive look to these planes. These jets will be equipped with cutting edge self-defense technologies in form of Self Protection Suit (SPS) that were ordered at cost of USD 190 million for two SPS system resulting in defensive systems costing 95 million USD on each Air India One.
Indian has ordered Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24(V) large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) system to protect Air India One from infrared-guided missiles launched by terrorist groups or hostile nations. This system can destroy any IR missile in the world and protect the Indian PM. The SPS will also have missile approach warning sensors, compact laser pointer/tracker and associated computers which will ensure automated detection and neutralization of enemy infrared-guided missiles.
Air India One will also carry ALQ-211(V)8 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite (AIDEWS) for fooling enemy radar-guided missiles. AIDEWS has radar warning receivers to alert pilots if Air India One is traced by any radar and it can start jamming that radar by emitting false signals. If both LAIRCM and AIDEWS systems fail to stop enemy missiles, then Air India One will use AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing system (CMDS) that dispenses Chaffs and flares to fool any incoming enemy missile.
Air India One will have a fully equipped emergency command post having sophisticated ‘Made in India’ encrypted communication systems that will include both radio and satellite links. The Air India One will be continuously connected to India’s Strategic Forces Command giving PM absolute control on India’s nuclear arsenal. This will also ensure Indian PM is always in touch with senior government officials in India and abroad.
Air India One to have a special VVIP suite enabling PM to rest during prolonged flights, an exclusive office, a press conference room, separate staff seating, and rest area for other members of the delegation. It will also have an SPG team that will accompany the PM. The new Air Force One will be flown by Indian Air Force pilots who will also be operating military missile defense systems and secret communication systems.
Team Guarding India hopes that these magnificent planes will ensure that Indian PM is always secured and well connected to India’s decision-makers besides making an impressive statement about the rising stature of India.