MIAMI – The government of India has announced the arrival of a new aircraft that will transport the country’s head of state and other senior officials.
At 3:11 pm local time on Thursday, October 1, the Hindustan Times reports, a modified Boeing 777 landed in New Dehli after completing a 15-hour flight from Forth Worth, Texas. The aircraft will serve as the main air transport for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
This new arrival is the first of two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that were sent to the US to be refurbished for VVIP missions. The first delivery was delayed from late August, due to technical issues.
An Upgrade from the Boeing 747
Up until now, the Indian government has been chartering Air India (AI) Boeing 747, which are reconfigured when called upon for a special trip. The two planes currently in use are over two decades old.
In addition to modified accommodations including office spaces, a medical center, and meeting rooms, the plane is also reported to have enhanced security features including a specialized missile defense system. Overall, the security measures are expected to rival those of the US President’s Air Force One.
Each Being 777 will be flown by pilots from the Indian Air Force and will be maintained by AI Engineering Services Limited (AIESL). The specialized aircraft will have an increased range than the two previous Boeing 747, giving government officials the ability to complete long haul flights of up to 17 hours in length without having to stop to refuel.
Featured image: air india one. Photo: mbs.news