Moscow – President Vladimir Putin has ordered the deployment of two new ‘Doomsday planes’ to control the command of the Russian Defence Forces during a nuclear war. Sources said that the construction of the aircraft is underway at the Voronezh Aviation Plant in Russia. The new Doomsday planes will be based on the four-engine IL 96-400M passenger jet.
In the event of a nuclear war or another catastrophic disaster, the aircraft with the systems to handle the defence command in case of destruction of the command system is known as a ‘Doomsday plane’. Both the United States and Russia are said to have four Doomsday planes each. Russia’s Doomsday planes are from the 1970s and 1980s generations and are based on the IL-80 passenger aircraft.
Currently, there is high tension reigning between Russia and the Western countries. Tensions over issues like Ukraine, Belarus and cyberattacks continue to fester. Both the United States and Russia have withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regarding nuclear weapons. At the same time, Russia is concerned about NATO‘s expansion in Europe and its war exercises and is rapidly stepping up its defence capabilities. Over the past few years, Russia has focused on developing new nuclear weapons, including hypersonic missiles.
It had been reported last year that Russia has developed ‘Doomsday drones’ and ‘Doomsday missiles’ capable of destroying an entire city. The construction of the new Doomsday planes seems to be the next phase of the same initiative. The new Doomsday planes are said to have the capability to order the launch of nuclear weapons within a range of 6,000 kilometres. Sources say that this capacity is double that of the current Doomsday planes.
Last year, a telecommunication system was reportedly stolen from a Russian Doomsday plane. The incident caused quite a stir in Russia.