IAF Pilots to fly Aircraft of President, Vice President and PM

Indian Air Force

New Delhi. Indian Air Force (IAF) will be trained specially to fly the two custom-made B-777 planes, which will be used to fly President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top Indian dignitaries from July next year, top officials said.

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The new wide-body planes will be maintained by Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), which is a subsidiary of Air India, they said.

Currently, the President, Vice President and Prime Minister fly on Air India’s B747 planes, which have the call sign “Air India One”.

“The two new B-777 planes will come to India from the US facility of Boeing by July next year. They will have the call sign “Air India One”.

Only IAF pilots will be flying the two new aircraft for the PM, the President and the Vice President,” a senior official of the national carrier said.

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The official said four to six pilots of the IAF have already been trained by Air India to fly the B-777 planes. “Some other pilots of IAF will come for training soon,” he added.

The B-777 planes will have state-of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS). In February, the US agreed to sell the two defence systems to India at a cost of US$190 million.

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