Saturday, March 25, 2023

Russia to develop a new ‘doomsday plane’

Russia plans to develop a new highly specialized aircraft to replace Cold War-era Il-80 “doomsday“ plane.

New Airborne Command Post aircraft will be built on the basis of an Il-96-400M long-range airliner, TASS reported.

“It is scheduled to replace it with an Il-96-400M. It will allow to significantly increase the period of airborne combat duty and to extend the radius for troop command,” an aircraft industry source told TASS.


The new aircraft will be protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse and has an electrical system designed to support advanced electronics and a wide variety of communications equipment. An advanced satellite communications system provides worldwide communication for senior leaders through the airborne operations center. Other improvements will include nuclear and thermal effects shielding, acoustic control, an improved technical control facility and an upgraded air-conditioning system for cooling electrical components.

Airborne Command Posts were called Doomsday planes in the United States, as they are designed for use in the event of a nuclear war or a major disaster that destroys ground-based command infrastructure.

In addition, earlier in May 2019, Russia has wrapped up its experimental design work on upgrading airborne command posts based on Ilyushin Il-80 and Il-82 planes.

“Now we have started modernizing airborne command posts based on the Il-80 and Il-82. The [Polyot Research and Production] Enterprise is the chief developer of the onboard communications and control system and has successfully wrapped up its experimental design work on its upgrade,” the defense official said during his visit to the Polyot defense manufacturer.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is executive editor of Defence Blog. He is journalist, accredited defense adviser and consultant. READ MORE