The first of two retrofitted Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft ordered by the Indian government for use of PM, President and Vice President arrived in India from Texas ( US)

The B777 aircraft was scheduled to be delivered by aircraft manufacturer Boeing to Air India in July, but its delivery was delayed twice — once in July for a few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then in August for a few weeks due to technical reasons.

The aircraft is equipped with an advanced communication system which allows availing audio and video communication function mid-air without being hacked. It is also capable of countering missile threats with its own missile defense system, called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS), which the US agreed to sell at a cost of USD 190 million

Currently, it will be used to fly Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and other senior dignitaries of the country.

Pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and not of Air India will be operating the two aircraft during travel by VVIPs, according to government officials

The modified VVIP aircraft have ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ written on them along with Ashok Emblem and the tricolor of the National Flag painted on it.

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