India, US sign Rs 1200 crore deal for missile protection suites for new VVIP planes

NEW DELHI: India has signed a Rs 1,200 crore deal with the United States for buying protection suites to protect the two new Boeing VVIP planes from missile attacks that will be used to ferry the President and the Prime Minister.

“The missile protection suites on the two Boeing-777 extended range planes to be codenamed ‘Air Force One’ would provide it the capability to fend off any missile attacks,” government sources told ANI.

The foreign military sales deal between the two governments was signed around the two-day visit of US President Donald Trump to India, sources said.

The self-protection suites for the Indian planes include infrared and electronic warfare countermeasures suites, countermeasure dispensing systems, and missile warning sensors.

The two planes are expected to arrive in India by the middle of next year to begin the VVIP duties.

Indian Air Force officials have made several visits to the Boeing facility where they get regularly briefed about the facilities being created in the aircraft and the progress made in this regard.

Due to the presence of the sophisticated equipment including missile protection suites and ownership by the Indian Air Force, the planes will have military classification. The ownership of the planes was earlier with Air India, which was maintaining the VVIP fleet using four Boeing 747 planes.

The sale of the sophisticated suites to India was cleared last by the American administration and their Defence Security Cooperation Agency has said the missile defence system deal would facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats on the planes.

During the visit by President Trump, India and the US had signed deals for the 24 MH60 Romeo multirole helicopters for the Navy and six new Apache attack choppers for the Army.

Source: ANI

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