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First Look: India's Air Force One
September 20, 2005
In an effort to develop its own "Air Force One", India on Tuesday inducted an executive Brazilian Embraer 135 aircraft into the Communications Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which looks after Indian VIP travel.
The state-of-the-art aircraft is one among three executive jets India received from the Brazilian manufacturer a fortnight ago.
Presently every time the President or the prime minister go abroad, Air India jumbos or 747s are pulled out of service.
The Brazilian Embraers come with unique safety features and premium comforts.
While two of the three aircraft are likely to be flown by Indian Air Force for the VIPs, the third will serve the Border Security Force.
The cost of the five Embraers ordered in September 2003 by the then National Democratic Alliance government and endorsed recently by the ruling United Progressive Alliance is about $170 million.
Photograph: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images