NUCLEAR FEARS: Putin’s ‘Doomsday’ plane which allows him to continue ruling Russia if nuclear war breaks out is seen flying near Moscow
Vladimir Putin’s special ‘Doomsday’ plane which allows him to continue ruling Russia during a nuclear war has been seen flying around Moscow in recent days.
Video shows the Ilyushin Il-80 passing low over the outskirts of the city amid tension that he will resort to atomic weapons during the conflict in Ukraine.
But Russian officials have insisted the aircraft will be showcased with a low flypast at Monday’s annual Victory Day parade on Red Square, and is involved in ‘rehearsals’ for the display.
The giant Soviet-era aircraft – windowless apart from the cockpit and known as the ‘Flying Kremlin’ – has not been seen at a Victory Day commemoration – marking defeat of Hitler and end of the Second World War – since 2010.
Its reappearance is a sign Putin wants to send a warning message to the West.
The Il-80 Maxdome will be escorted by two MiG-29s as it flies low over St Basil’s Cathedral.
Ramming home Russia’s nuclear readiness, strategic missile carriers Tu-95MS and Tu-160 ‘White Swan’ will be part of the fly-past.
A fifth-generation Su-57 fighter and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers will be on display.
The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed that eight MiG-29SMTs will fly in the form of the letter ‘Z’ in support of Russian servicemen participating in a special
military operation in Ukraine.
Ilyushin Il-80: Putin’s flying war room
The windowless Il-80 is Putin’s so-called Doomsday plane, designed to act as a Kremlin in the sky in the event of nuclear attack.
Putin would be able to rule Russia and issue commands to his military from the airborne command post in the event of a full-scale war.
This includes the ability to order a nuclear strike.
The crown jewel of the Il-80’s equipment is known as Zveno-S, which includes an advanced communications suite that uses satellite antennas housed on top in a large oval-shaped pod towards the front on the plane.
Two more large pods – attached under the wings – each carry a turbine engine that services as an additional power supply source for the on-board equipment.
There is also a special very low frequency (VLF) antenna system used for communicating with submarines carrying ballistic missiles.