Here’s How Boeing 777-300 Will Become PM Modi’s Flying Fortress
Meet the new Air India One. Air India is finally set to overhaul its existing fleet of VVIP planes, with the latest technology on offer, to keep them mishap-proof, even when airborne.
As per reports, the government-owned enterprise is set to buy two Boeing 777-300ER long-haul planes for VVIPs in the country, like the President, Prime Minister and the Vice President. The planes will be maintained by the Indian Air Force.
Upgrading the planes for VVIPs has been in discussion for a long time now, but finally, they are getting replaced after 25 years in service. The Boeing 777-300ER will be entrusted with VVIP duties, replacing the earlier 747-400.
Meet the new Air India One
The plane packs two GE90-115BL engines (made by General Electric), which are the world’s most powerful jet engines, offering maximum thrust of 1,15,300 lbs.
Essentially, this plane will cater to the non-stop travelling demands of the Prime Minister or the President. With a long-haul plane, they can travel longer distances with more fuel on board, thus making fewer stops.
The standard Boeing 777-300ER can seat 396 passengers, but that’s not going to be the case with the Air India One variant.
The space inside the plane will most likely get a conference room, VVIP seating area, space to set up an in-flight kitchen, and a special and restricted executive room for the Prime Minister or the President. The plane can carry food for up to 2,000 people.
All modes of communication will be facilitated, with mobile and satellite phones to be specially customised to connect with on-ground airline officials. The plane will also have an on-board medical staff, available 24x7, and fitted with an operation theater as well.
Security-Laden Flying Fortress
Now that you’ve seen what the new Air India One is going to offer, let’s dig deep into the kind of armoury the plane is set to be retrofitted with.
According to defence experts, the plane will be made from radar-sensing metal, primarily in use to detect any incoming missile attack on Air India One. It also will be fitted with a mechanism to dodge enemy radar to guard against possible air attacks.
Other than that, Air India One will also have radars that’ll be able to deflect any possible network intrusion by the enemy. Another handy feature offered with Air India One is its ability to be refuelled mid-air, in case of emergencies.
The planes are going to be delivered in the coming weeks, but will be used for long-haul service only from 2018, after the Boeing-approved retrofitting changes are made to the new Air India One, which will match the standards that the US President’s Air Force One has.
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