Boeing BBJ, New Delhi's Air Force 1

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The Indian Air Force is slated to begin testing in 2008 for its first $60 million Boeing Business Jet after it is equipped with a system designed to protect the aircraft from attack by ground or air based threats. The aircraft's intended duties will include transport of India's "VVIPs" -- its prime minister and top cabinet officials -- and otherwise serve as India's version of Air Force 1. The aircraft is expected to fulfill its role as part of a modernization plan that would allow dignitaries increased overseas range of 6,000 nautical miles, plus increased comfort, and an entourage of up to 49 people. It is only the first of three such aircraft on order with the IAF and is expected to enter service in April of 2008 after its defense systems have been successfully tested. Pilots currently flying in the elite communication squadron charged with carriage of India's most important political figures command Boeing 737-200 and Embraer 135 Legacy jets.