Russian and American Doomsday Planes

A Russian Il-80 military transport aircraft, also known as the Doomsday plane, and MiG-29 fighter jets fly in formation during a rehearsal for a flypast. Credit:Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

Media and websites talked about allegations of monitoring the flight of the Russian "Doomsday Plane" over Moscow, and about monitoring the takeoff of the American Doomsday plane after Putin called for a partial mobilization of the army, waving nuclear deterrence in the face of the West.

The American CBE TV channel reported that the takeoff of the American Doomsday plane was monitored during the current tense conditions. At the same time, websites said that a Russian Doomsday Ilyushin 62-M plane was seen flying in the sky of the capital, Moscow.

It is noteworthy that  "Doomsday Plane" is a name given to a flying strategic command center, used as an Airborne Command Post (ACS) in an event of nuclear war, disaster or another large-scale conflict that threatens key military and ground infrastructure.

The Russian model of the ACS is the Il-96-400, while the second generation of this type of aircraft was developed on the basis of the Il-80.

These aircraft are characterized as real flying fortresses that are not affected by nuclear radiation, with an ability to stay airborne for a long time in order to deliver the leadership to a safe place at all costs through a worst-case scenario.

Usually, Doomsday Planes are always ready to take off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with takeoff requiring only a few minutes.

The American Doomsday Plane, or what is known as the "Airborne Emergency Command Center," also known as the E-4B, is able to stay in the air for a week with in-flight refueling. The first model made its maiden flight on June 13, 1973.  Since then, the aircraft has been continually updated and fitted with modern equipment.

The only countries known to have designed and manufactured such aircraft are the United States and the Russian Federation.

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