What is this “doomsday plane” that Putin is flying in Moscow?

What is this

RUSSIA – After “Satan-2”, “the plane of the apocalypse”. The communications war waged by Russia is still in full swing alongside the one taking place in Ukraine. Especially with the approach of May 9, the date on which the Kremlin celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Indeed, according to Ukrainian intelligence, Moscow is preparing a military parade in the long besieged port of Mariupol for this symbolic date. .

And it seems that on this occasion, Vladimir Putin plans to draw a very special plane: the Ilyushin II-80, a giant aircraft similar to a flying fortress. According to Le Figaro, the Muscovites were able to witness the passage of this military plane nicknamed “the plane of the apocalypse” or “plane of the last judgment” on Wednesday May 4 in the morning. A training flight as part of a rehearsal for the Victory Parade to be held in Red Square.

We tell you more about this machine considered the most strategic aircraft of the Russian army, produced in four copies at the end of the 1980s.

A well-functioning flying fortress

This Ilyushin II-80 that Moscow has just taken out of its reserve would have the code name Maxdome, according to NATO. Far from being recent, it comes from the Cold War and is intended to serve as a command and protection base for senior Kremlin officials in the event of a nuclear attack. For this purpose, the aircraft, whose basic structure is a civilian Ilyushin II-86, has been modified.

This mastodon, sixty meters long and forty-eight meters wide, is powered by four reactors. It has special armor and has no porthole, except for the cockpit. A feature intended to protect passengers from the consequences of a nuclear explosion, in particular thermal flash, and to maintain the functionality of the aircraft’s radio systems, explains the specialized media Futura Tech.

The aircraft has only one gate and the hump above the cabin houses satellite communication equipment and radio links. To fulfill its mission, this device is supposed to be able to fly for several days without landing, thanks to in-flight refueling. Also nicknamed the “Flying Kremlin”, the plane is unarmed. During the parade, it will be escorted by two Mig-29s and will also be followed by TU-95MS and TU-160 long-range bombers.

The menacing presence of the Ilyushin II-80

It should be noted that it is very rare to see this device in the air, since its last outing dates back to the parade of May 9, 2010. In the context of the war in Ukraine, its presence does not bode well and is synonymous with threat from the Kremlin. Because it is from this flying monster that Vladimir Putin would direct operations in the event of a nuclear conflict. A threat that he has been brandishing since the start of the invasion of Ukraine and which takes on even more weight a week after the test firing of the RS-28 Sarmat missile, renamed Satan-2 by the West .

Last August, as recalled Le Figaro, the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, announced that Russia had started the development of a new aircraft, called Zveno-3S, to replace the Ilyushin-80. Its construction would have already started in the workshops of the manufacturer, in Voronezh, in the West of Russia.

United States and Russia, to each his plane of the end of the world

But Russia is not the only country to have equipped itself with this type of machine. Moreover, this title of “the plane of the apocalypse” was above all given to an American plane: the Boeing E-4B Noac “Doomsday”. This is based on a Boeing 747-200F and has the same characteristics as the Russian aircraft.

The United States has several “doomsday planes”. Like their Russian counterparts, they have the ability to withstand electromagnetic pulses and the flight instruments used are analog as they are less susceptible to cyber attacks.

American or Russian, the information relating to these flying bunkers is classified and carefully guarded in order to avoid any sabotage and failure in their operation.

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