Last VVIP flight by `Tanjore’

Last VVIP flight by `Tanjore’

Last VVIP flight by `Tanjore’

Onboard Air India One: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh boards the last commercial jet commissioned by Air India for VVIP flights, one can’t help but get nostalgic.
Called Air India 001, this is just another Boeing 737-400 operated by the national carrier. The 20-year-old aircraft is modified whenever the Prime Minister or President travel overseas. The Prime Minister has a small cabin to himself which has a double bed, a table and some chairs. It is also equipped with office facilities.
The official delegation comprising of his staff, officials, security detail, reporters are seated in the business and economy class. The aircraft also carries a huge amount of cargo which includes communication and security related equipment as well as catering goods.But, all this will soon be history. After the Prime Minister returns from the G-20 summit on Friday (April 3), this aircraft will go back into commercial service.
The Prime Minister and President will hence forth use three special jets bought from the United States at a cost of Rs.734 crores.
These latest aircraft of the Boeing 737 series are equipped with Self Protection Suites (SPS) for electronic warfare integrated onto the aircraft to provide greater security from enemy missiles.
SPS include radar warning receivers, missile-approach warning systems and counter-measure systems. The aircraft would have the capability to shoot metal chaff and flares to deviate radar-guided missiles and heat-seeking missiles off the track. The first of the three jets landed in India in August last year, with the other two following subsequently. Since then, the aircraft have undergone extensive flight trials and the crew has been trained for handling the IAF’s latest induction.

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~ by anand213 on April 1, 2009.

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