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Old 26th October 2020, 16:36   #166
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I guess that depends a bit on the capabilities of your enemies as well, does it not. I am no expert, but once your enemy knows the president of a country is up in his/her plane, would it not become a prime target? No matter what, bring it down?
Typical combat radius of a fighter aircraft is 500 to 1000 km. Add 50 to 100 km range for a typical air-to-air missile. Ditto with naval ships equipped with ship-to-air missiles. The Pilot has to stay away from the border or the ocean!

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I thought the Americans would also rely on moving the president to one of these operation centre underneath the rockies?
White House has an underground bunker, but it is unlikely to survive a nuclear hit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presid...an%20emergency.

However, it is well known that the Air Force One can operate in a nuclear environment. So does this plane - to be used by top Pentagon officials:

Here’s an inside look at the US military’s ‘doomsday plane’ — which can endure the aftermath of a nuke blast
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/29/us-m...ear-blast.html

Last edited by SmartCat : 26th October 2020 at 16:40.
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Old 26th October 2020, 16:56   #167
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

The USA has many more bunkers, the White house one is just the one that gets into the news now and then.

But the US military have been digging bunkers for decades. And apperently they are still about to dig some more

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...washington-d-c

The above article also provides some background on some of these bunkers from the past.

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Old 26th October 2020, 17:17   #168
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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However, it is well known that the Air Force One can operate in a nuclear environment.
US President George W Bush was on board Air Force One for quite some time on September 11, 2001 - How a routine flight to Florida turned into one of the most historic days for Air Force One and the man who flew George W. Bush on 9/11
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As the skies over America emptied of planes on Sept. 11, 2001, one aircraft remained flying Air Force One.
...
As soon as Bush boarded Air Force One on Sept. 11, Tillman took off and headed toward Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Shortly before the president got on board, he learned that the Pentagon had been hit and at least one other airliner was missing and believed to be under the control of hijackers.
...
For security reasons, Air Force One basically had control of the airspace with Tillman and his crew talking on a secure phone line to the FAA command center so radios could not be used to track the president.
After the president recorded a speech and talked to his staff in a nearly two-hour visit at Barksdale, Air Force One left for Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, where Bush stayed a couple of hours. At one point, F-16 jets from Bush's former Texas Air National Guard unit rose up to meet Air Force One.
"It was significant for us and the president to look out the window and see F-16s on his wing. Whatever we needed them to do, they could do," said Tillman. "It was a great feeling to see those guys. I still choke up thinking about it."
Tillman flew Bush home to Washington, D.C., later that awful day and a few days later flew him to New York.
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Old 26th October 2020, 18:01   #169
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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I thought the Americans would also rely on moving the president to one of these operation centre underneath the rockies?
The most infamous of these facilities is Raven Rock and it's the closest off the top of my head. Under the Rockies would be the Cheyenne Mountain facility iirc.

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The USA has many more bunkers, the White house one is just the one that gets into the news now and then.
Speaking of Tyler - here's a great interview with the author of a book all about Raven Rock and the US govt's contingency plans for doomsday. Well worth a read.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...n-annihilation

Anyway, on the topic of the new Indian planes, having the strategic control capability on board I suppose is good to have, but really I think it'll just be used to ferry leadership officials between contingency locations which likely will be hardened facilities. I think for Air Force One, the sheer size of the US comes to it's advantage in the sense that they can afford to flit about the deep interior knowing how much buffer space they have. However with the new VC-25B's lacking aerial refuelling capability, I do wonder if the US plan will change as a consequence. Furthermore regarding the Doomsday Plane, the E-4's, they're really getting on in age too and I wonder if they're up for the chopping block. There was increasing noise that with the increased capability of big twins these days, it would make sense to move platforms such as the E-4 and the C-32 (Air Force Two) to a common platform moving forward to just make logistics easier. I know the latter is already based on the 757, but it's basically replacing anything based on a 747-200 considering how difficult to source spare parts its becoming.
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Old 10th November 2020, 15:52   #170
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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A few shots of the interiors
The employee who took these interior shots & supervisor have been suspended.

Air India One crew member clicks pic, suspended
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...w/79071475.cms

Name:  Screenshot_1.jpg
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Size:  39.5 KB

Last edited by SmartCat : 10th November 2020 at 15:54.
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Old 13th November 2020, 15:08   #171
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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The employee who took these interior shots & supervisor have been suspended.
Isn't that silly on part of Air India/Govt to suspend someone for taking pictures which are pretty much harmless. None of the photos show any classified equipment or compromise safety of the aircraft. They are behaving as if the crew member took photos of the aircraft's ECM/EW systems/console!!! Eventually one day photos of the interior will be taken by the press. As long as there is nothing classified that is snapped, why should it be a cause for concern.

What's next? stop amateur photographers from taking photos of the aircraft while it is taking off or landing? Because, Ironically, it is the exterior photos of the aircraft that seems to suggest where the CM dispensers and other sensors are!!!
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Old 25th November 2020, 07:44   #172
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Air India One (VT-ALV) made its inaugural flight to Chennai with President Shri Ramnath Kovind on 24th November. The President is on a visit to Tirupati.

Link

Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-screenshot_20201125074825__01.jpg

Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-screenshot_20201125074831.jpg

Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-20201125_074754.jpg

Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-20201125_074801.jpg

Rashtrapati Bhavan

Landing at Chennai, courtesy Chennai Spotting in YouTube.


Last edited by Sheel : 25th November 2020 at 15:26. Reason: As requested.
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Old 25th November 2020, 15:56   #173
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Originally Posted by BoneCollector View Post

Landing at Chennai, courtesy Chennai Spotting in YouTube.
I don't know about others but isn't this a criminal and colossal waste of our resources? Just because it is there doesn't mean that the 777 has to be used for these relatively short fuel guzzling flights when you can easily use the VIP 737 for that trip. And that such a large aircraft to ferry just two people!!!!

Tirupati airport cannot handle a 777 size aircraft and probably that is probably the reason the 777 carrying the president went to Chennai.In that scenario, wasn't the 737 BBJ sufficient to fly directly to Tirupati from New Delhi. Wasn't the 737s being used to fly the VIPs around the country anyway? At a time when the economy and people are struggling , all these domestic junkets in a 777 in just seem insensitive!!!
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Old 25th November 2020, 16:30   #174
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
I don't know about others but isn't this a criminal and colossal waste of our resources? Just because it is there doesn't mean that the 777 has to be used for these relatively short fuel guzzling flights when you can easily use the VIP 737 for that trip. And that such a large aircraft to ferry just two people!!!!

Tirupati airport cannot handle a 777 size aircraft and probably that is probably the reason the 777 carrying the president went to Chennai.In that scenario, wasn't the 737 BBJ sufficient to fly directly to Tirupati from New Delhi. Wasn't the 737s being used to fly the VIPs around the country anyway? At a time when the economy and people are struggling , all these domestic junkets in a 777 in just seem insensitive!!!
I'm unsure, but I think the VP was travelling at the same time in the 737 elsewhere(Ahmedabad possibly?).

Either way, I don't think these decisions are taken considering the budget(more so for domestic flights). Possibly choice of airport for a big plane(if it was the only available aircraft at that time?), security concerns if any, auspicious angle(first flight of a new aircraft for a religious visit) et al.

Without knowing the reason behind, it is unfair to criticize or justify such expenses.

There are multiple such examples of expenses, ceremonies and few chairs themselves which can be questioned, but since these are established practices over time and by our system, pointed questions are meaningless. If questions are raised, it has to be at the start of such processes and practices.

BTW, he is the on the top chair of our nation, it isn't too bad if there is some pomp is involved.

P.S., Just today I saw honorable President travelling in a humble Tata safari near Kevadia. So, it's not up to us or him to decide the vehicle of transport.

Last edited by amods : 25th November 2020 at 16:31.
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Old 25th November 2020, 17:40   #175
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

To echo skanchan95's point, I'd like to point out that not even POTUS travels on the 747 based VC-25 all the time, especially not for domestic travel. What with his propensity to use presidential airlift aircraft as a backdrop for his rallies, there are ample recent examples of Trump holding a rally in the rural heartland of the states where it's quite clear he came flying in on Air Force Two, the 757 based C-32's that VPOTUS Pence usually uses. Often it's because the 747 would be a logistical hassle for a short hop, it won't fit or it just isn't justified for that sort of trip. So even a man as predisposed to pomp (to the extent it's practically gaudy) as Trump doesn't always rock up with his biggest chariot, so I don't buy that argument I'm afraid.

That being said, for such a short hall flight as this, using the 777s should be called out for what it is - a flex by the govt. And once again the optics are predictably a bit poor. You can tell from the photos that the admin have clearly been itching to have some great pomp and circumstance to usher in the new jets but even They can't be so tone deaf to do so under the current circumstances. Instead we get what's quite clearly a muted ceremony to break in the new toy they've been eagerly looking to use.

I think it's entirely right for taxpayers to call to question govt largesse. I know the President doesn't really have a say in what he's carted around in, especially for airlift. But given there's a sizeable fleet of smaller platforms that are infinitely more suited to domestic travel than the gargantuan 777, I think skanchan95's ire is both well placed, and valid. There's being diffident to the office that he holds, but that shouldn't withhold feedback. I imagine any official explanation would involve stating that this was simply to stretch the legs of the 777 and not keep it getting rusty when idle.
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Old 25th November 2020, 17:54   #176
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

Not sure if the prevailing weather condition in Tamil Nadu as well as South India played any role in the decision making process to use a larger aircraft.
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:52   #177
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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I'm unsure, but I think the VP was travelling at the same time in the 737 elsewhere(Ahmedabad possibly?).
The IAF's Air HQ & Comms Squadron, which operates a fleet of VIP aircraft has three Boeing 737-700 BBJs(K-5012, 5013 & 5014). Assuming that one was flying the VP, other two were available. The VIP 737s are roomy and comfortable and not relatively cramped like the ERJs.

Anyway, my point was about wasting the capabilities of the 777 by operating them on relatively domestic flights and not about the Office of the honourable President. In times like these, efforts must be made to cut costs and such showmanship should have been avoided. Let's face it, it is the tax payer's money that is used to fund these flights and there must be some accountability to it. If such avoidable expenditures are not be questioned, let us stop kidding ourselves and stop calling ourselves a democracy.

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auspicious angle(first flight of a new aircraft for a religious visit) et al.
The President went to the Tirupati temple via Chennai. Ironically, Tirupati airport cannot handle wide body aircraft. So if the excuse for the first flight was for a religious visit i.e an auspicious/blessed beginning of the aircraft's service with the IAF, I don't buy it.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 26th November 2020 at 10:53.
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Old 28th November 2020, 02:51   #178
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

I would say - as good a reason as any for an inaugural flight. Head of State, Religious reason, first flight of the VIP plane - a lot of pros out there.
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Old 28th November 2020, 09:21   #179
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

My views are similar to skanchan95. This acquisition of two new 777s is an overdose of ego and aggrandizement at the expense of the tax payer. Discussions of a bigger plane came up in earlier administrations too but they opted for a muted solution of upgrading from a 737-200 to a 737 BBJ instead. A BBJ which is what the other 3 earlier aircraft effectively are has a usable carpet area of ~1100 sq feet* and a range {depending on payload} of ~10,000+ kms to 12,000 kms with full over water reserves. That is to say only a travel to North or South America needs a refuelling stop. Economy has been tanking for 2+ years, unemployment has peaked to its highest in 45 years even before covid, but $1bn+ can be found for these toys. A very sad reflection of the thought process.

*that is enough for one private bedroom, three bathrooms, one with a shower, a working lounge, a private meeting room, 180 degree flat beds for 4 more, and normal reclining business class seats for 12 more accompanying officials/journalists etc, crew rest area, hot galley & cold galley.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 06:27   #180
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders



Prolific aerospace YouTube channel Simple Flying turned their gaze to the subject of this thread. If you don't fancy poring over the whole thread, it's a good primer on the fancy new whips for India's leadership.
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