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Russia’s ‘Doomsday’ Military Plane Almost Ready for Flight

© Sputnik / Alexander Polyakov / Go to the photo bankA long range jet liner Il-96-400 designed by the Sergey Ilyushin experimental design office.
A long range jet liner Il-96-400 designed by the Sergey Ilyushin experimental design office. - Sputnik International
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By the end of this year “Voronezh aircraft factory” will give Russia’s Ministry of Defense an airborne command system based on the upgraded Il-96-400 military aircraft, the press service of the military reported.

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“During this year, the factory is delivering to us a specialized airborne command system based on the Il-96-400. According to the plan, the contract for the AN-148 aircraft is being implemented,” military website RG.ru reported Deputy Defense Minister, Yuri Borisov, as saying.

Particular attention was paid for the preparation to begin production of the Il-112V light military transport aircraft.

“The plane is new and currently it is in development stage. In accordance with the decision of the supreme commander, its first flight should take place no later than in July 2017,” Borisov said.

The airborne command systems are being called “doomsday planes” because they are intended to assist the country and armed forces in case a nuclear war breaks out and there is massive destruction or contamination of ground command posts.

These aircraft are equipped with the necessary protection and communication systems, supplies of fuel and food. They also have resting areas and inflight refueling systems.

An airborne command post based on the upgraded Ilyushin Il-96-400 aircraft is expected to be an improvement to the airborne command system based on the IL-86 or IL-86VKP which is functional today.

It is a backup control center in the event of a real emergency or the start of full-scale aggression against Russia.

“Today, it is difficult to predict how such a threat can manifest itself hence it is quite probable that a few airplanes are waiting at the bases, ready to go at moment’s notice in case of an emergency,” according to RIA columnist Alexander Hrolenko.

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The strategic nuclear forces of Russia are actively being updated with the latest automated control systems. These systems allow missile launches and change in trajectory of missiles inflight.

The airborne command systems are more difficult to track down and destroy. They are protected against radiation, advanced electronic warfare, and have stealth technology to hide them from satellites and enemy radars.

Hence, their high-tech outlay and speed gives them significant advantages over ground, underground and underwater command centers.

According to the columnist these ‘doomsday’ aircraft can stay airborne for days if refueled. As modern war is not a simple exchange of blows, the parties have opportunities for flexible strategy changes making the conflict last for a very long time.

However, these airborne command systems can initially and indefinitely push the ‘Day of Judgment’ scenario a little further away. Although, if it does happen, the air control centers will share the fate of fellow citizens whatever it is, but first they will destroy the aggressor of the country and its allies, according to the columnist.

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