01 Oct 2020: First Air India One for President, PM to arrive today
The first of the two VVIP custom-made Boeing 777 aircraft, which will be used to fly the President, the Vice President, and the Prime Minister, will arrive on Thursday.
The aircraft will be part of the Air India One fleet.
It was scheduled to arrive earlier in August, however, due to "operational issues," the delivery had to be delayed, officials said.
Arrival: 'First of two Boeing jets to land in Delhi today'
A top aviation ministry official told Hindustan Times, "The first of the two Boeing jets will land in New Delhi at 3.00 pm on Thursday."
Another senior government official told the publication, "The delivery of the aircraft was scheduled for August 25 but has been delayed due to certain operational issues. It took a few weeks' time to deliver."
Air India One: Aircraft to have own missile defense system
The Centre has planned to procure two such custom-made Boeing 777 aircraft, which will be capable of countering missile threats with their own missile defense system, called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS).
In terms of security measures, the aircraft have been intended to match the United States President's Air Force One.
Procurement: Indian officials had reached US in August to procure aircraft
In the first half of August, senior officials from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Air India had reached the US to procure the aircraft from Boeing and escort it back to India after assessing the technical requirements.
Air India had sent a pair of B777 aircraft to a Boeing facility in Dallas for refurbishment for VVIP travel.
Other details: Currently, PM, President, VP fly via Air India's Boeing 747
Air India One is the call sign of any aircraft with the President or PM of India on board.
It will be operated by the IAF as a VVIP flight and will exclusively be used by PM Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Currently, the three leaders fly via Air India's Boeing 747 planes deployed on commercial flights.