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Come 2020, PM Modi’s Air India one to be on par with Trump’s Air Force One

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New Delhi, Oct 08: Come 2020 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Air India One fleet will be on part with Air Force One that is used by the President of the United States.

Two Boeing 777 aircraft with missile defence system will reach India by June 2020. The aircraft would be used by the PM, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The security measures would be on part with Air Force One and the plane will be capable of flying between India and the US without having to stop for refuelling, sources have confirmed to OneIndia. Currently, they are being configured at a facility in Dallas.

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Further, there would be more office space available on the aircraft. There would be a wider range of communication systems and meeting rooms as well. One of the most important features would be the Self-Protection Suites which is used in Air Force One.

It may be recalled that the US had approved the purchase of two systems known as the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self Protection Suites for an estimated 190 million USD. The purpose is to protect the aircraft from man-portable missiles. The LAIRCM increases crew warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced range missile systems.

The missile warning subsystem will use multiple sensors to provide full spatial coverage.

The counter-measures subsystem will use lasers mounted in pointer-tracker turret assemblies. It also automatically counters advanced intermediate-range missile systems with no action required by the crew.

The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.

Observing that it will improve India's capability to deter regional threats, the Congressional notification said SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.

"India will have no problem absorbing and using this system," it said.

According to the notification, India had requested to buy two SPS consisting of AN/AAQ 24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), ALQ-211(V)8 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) and AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) to protect two (2) Boeing-777 Head-of-State aircraft.

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"This potential sale would include twelve Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (6 installed and 6 spares), eight (8) LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (2 installed and 6 spares); twenty-three (23) Missile Warning Sensors (MWS) for AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (12 installed and 11 spares), five (5) AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) (2 installed and 3 spares)," the notification said

Also included in this sale are Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDEWS), LAIRCM CIURs, SCAs, HCCs, and UDM cards, initial spares, consumables, repair and return support and support equipment.

The department also assured that the sale will not "alter the basic military balance in the region"

The US is the second-largest arms supplier to India. It has already recognised India as a "major defence partner", a status that which commits the US to facilitate technology sharing with India

In 2018, the US granted India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status. India is the only South Asian country to get STA1 status and third Asian country after Japan and South Korea. The status eases defence procurement from the US. Last year both New Delhi and Washington signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement).

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