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This is what the PM’s VIP plane could look like after its £900,000 paint job | UK News

A photoshopped image of what Boris Johnson’s VIP jet might look like after a £900,000 paint job shows the once-grey aircraft now in white, with a giant Union Jack flag across the rear.

The words “United Kingdom” are painted in yellow capital letters along the side.

The mock-up was posted on social media on Thursday by Andrew Evans, an aviation enthusiast and photographer.

Image:
The RAF Voyager, pictured in 2018, is getting a paint job

Mr Evans accompanied the picture with an explanation that it was based on a diagram allegedly showing the real design that had been “doing the rounds”.

It is understood that the unofficial image of the revamped Royal Air Force Voyager aircraft is broadly in line with the real thing.

A military source gave the new look a thumbs-up for VIP travel, but warned it would be almost impossible to keep deploying the jet on military operations as it would stick out.

“I think it looks awesome and will totally fit in on the flight line at world leaders’ meetings next to Air Force One,” he said, referring to the US president’s aircraft.

By contrast, core tasks such as refuelling fast jets close to conflict zones would be “totally off the cards in my opinion”, the source said. He added that the only time it could safely be deployed would be if there is no danger of enemy fire.



Dominic Raab insists a £900,000 paint job on the prime minister's plane is good value for the taxpayer



Raab defends £900,000 makeover for VIP jet

Lord Ricketts, a former national security adviser, echoed this concern.

“Well that’s going to be nice and low-profile in a war zone if it has to go back to being a military refuelling tanker,” he wrote on Twitter, commenting on the photoshopped image of the VIP jet.

“That was the role it was bought for with all the necessary plumbing – unlike the jets used by eg [for example, President Emmanuel] Macron which were bought to be VIP transports.”

Mr Johnson was heavily criticised this week after it emerged the government is spending almost £1m on transforming the look of the RAF’s VIP Voyager, which is used by the prime minister, other ministers, and members of the Royal Family.

There was particular anger at the cost at a time when the country is in a deep financial crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden defended the move on Wednesday, saying “we have always spent money on promoting the UK round the world”.

Sky News revealed the Union Jack-themed makeover on Tuesday.

One source said the paint job sounded like something “from Austin Powers”.

The revelation triggered a barrage of aircraft-linked jokes on social media about the hit comedy starring Mike Myers as a British spy and his arch enemy Dr Evil.

The Voyager is receiving its makeover at a secure hangar at an airfield in Cambridge.

The company Marshall Aerospace and Defence is in charge of the work. The paint job is expected to be finished later this month.

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