New "Air India One" Carrying Prime Minister, President Can Fend Off Missiles

The aircraft are being purchased at a cost of $190 million

India will get two Boeing 777 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Self-Protection Suites (SPS), for an estimated $190 million. They will ferry the President & Prime Minister on long-haul flights. They will replace the 26-year-old Boeing 747s and will be called “Air India One” or “Indian Air Force One”.

LAIRCM is a programme meant to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles. It increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced infrared missile systems. According to a PTI report, this would bring the security of Air India One at par with that of Air Force One, the aircraft used by the American President. It protects aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles. The aircraft can also jam enemy radars, shoot flares to throw off heat-seeking missiles and will be equipped with ‘radar warning receivers’, as well as encrypted satellite communication facilities.

The release said the proposed sale will improve India’s capability to deter regional threats, and will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.