Taking into account the possibility of nuclear war, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to make sure that he can lead the armed forces from Moscow from the air. The Kremlin leader has therefore ordered two Il-80 Maxdome “doomsday” planes, which are adapted versions of the Russian IL-96-400M civilian airliner.
The first newly ordered presidential plane is already under construction, announced a source from the military industrial sector, quoted by Daily Mail.
The future Kremlin command aircraft will replace the existing Ilyushin Il-80 Maxdomes aircraft currently available to Vladimir Putin. Russia originally built four such planes in the late 1980s, only three of which are still in service, but even among those three, one became unavailable after its communications equipment was reported stolen last December while it was undergoing maintenance last December.
In principle, the new “doomsday” planes are designed for the Russian president and other senior military officials, such as the security services and ministers of Moscow, in case of a nuclear war.
The aircraft is always accompanied and defended by fighter jets, and can be refueled in flight. The project is called Zveno-3S, and the plane is being built at a plant in Voronezh.
The radio system of the new plane will make it possible for the Russian president to give orders to troops while in flight, along with strategic aviation, rocket launchers and submarines carrying nuclear weapons with a range of 6,000 kilometers.
Title image: Ilyushin Il-80 “Maxdome” over Moscow. (source: Wikimedia Commons)