Air India One

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One of Indian Air Force Boeing Business Jet aircraft, used during the Indian President's trip to Madrid as Air India One.

Air India One (also referred to as AI-1[1] or AIC001) is the call sign of any Air India aircraft carrying the Prime Minister of India, President of India or the Vice President of India. Air India is the national airline of India.[2] The aircraft are operated as VIP flights by the Indian Air Force (IAF).[3] The IAF's Air Headquarters Communications Squadron, based at Indira Gandhi International Airport (formerly Palam Air Force Base) in New Delhi, is in charge of operating these aircraft.[4]

Current Fleet[edit]

Apart from the Boeing 747-400 owned by Air India and used on international state visits, the IAF currently owns four 14 seater Embraer 135 and three customized 46 seater Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) that have a VIP cabin and are used for VIP movement. Of these the Boeing 747s are used by either the Prime Minister,President or Vice President when on official overseas visits.[4][5]

Each Embraer 135 is equipped with missile-deflecting systems, modern flight management system including global positioning system, as well as category II instrument landing system. These aircraft cost the IAF INR 1.40 billion each.[5] The Three BBJs, christened Rajdoot, Rajhans and Rajkamal cost the IAF INR 9.34 billion each (INR 7.34 billion for the actual aircraft plus an additional INR 2 billion for Self Protection Suites).[3][4] Self-protection suites include radar warning receivers, missile-approach warning and counter-measure systems. The aircraft have the capability to shoot chaff and flares to deviate radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles off their track along with other security tools.The other security instruments are undisclosed by the Indian Air Force.

The electronics on board the Air India One (Boeing 747) are connected with approximately 238 miles (383 km) of wiring, twice that of a regular 747. All wiring is covered with heavy shielding for protection from an electromagnetic pulse in the event of a nuclear attack. Many of the AI001's other capabilities are classified for security reasons. [3] The aircraft(Air India One) have been configured to the same security specifications as the Boeing VC-25 that flies the President of the United States.[4]

The President is designated VIP 1, The Vice President VIP 2 and The Prime Minister VIP 3. The BBJ have a four class configuration. For the President/Prime Minister, there is a separate enclosure in the aircraft which includes an office and a bedroom. Everyone aboard Air India One is required to wear a color-coded identity card. Members of the official delegation (Joint Secretary level and above) are tagged in purple and sit in First Class while accompanying officials (junior officers) are given pink tags and sit in Business Class on the upper deck. Journalists and others from the media sit in the Executive Class and sport yellow tags. Support staff join the security team in a small economy class section at the back of the aircraft and are tagged in red. These aircraft are expected to be replaced as they have become less cost-effective to operate.The Indian Air Force is looking forward to replace the present Boeing 747-400 with the Boeing 777-300, 787-9 or the Airbus A380. Most probably three new Boeing 777-300ERs will be the successors of the present B747s. [1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Air India One, Seat No 59G". 26 September 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Manmohan Singh to travel in Air India One Agra". Topnews.in. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "April 1 date for President with business jets". Zee News. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "India's own Air Force One takes to the skies". The Hindu. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "VVIPs get their special jets". 21 September 2005. Retrieved 8 April 2011.