Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to soon receive two ultramodern ‘Doomsday’ planes to use in the event of a nuclear war, UK-based online newspaper The Daily Mail reported on Monday.
The two airborne command and control planes, Ilyushin 96-400Ms, will give Putin the ability to control Russian troops and missiles during a nuclear catastrophe.
One of the two military aircrafts is currently under construction, according to an industry source who spoke to The Mail.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive two air command posts based on the Il-96-400M,” the military industry said, adding that “One is now in production.”
Once the plane, which has been specifically designed for the president and other top military and security personnel, is ready, it will replace the existing Ilyushin II-80 Maxdomes aircrafts which have been placed on standby.
The new planes are expected to double the flight ranges compared to the existing Doomsday aircrafts, The Mail reported.
Moscow-based newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the “radio complex of the aircraft will make it possible to deliver orders to troops, strategic aviation, mobile and silo launchers, and submarines carrying strategic nuclear weapons within a radius of 6,000 km.”
One of the four existing Ilyushin II-80 Maxdomes aircrafts was previously infiltrated and, as a result, 39 pieces of radio equipment were stolen in a security breach as the plane was being refitted in the Russian city of Taganrog, on the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea, bounded by the southeast of Russia and northwest of Ukraine.
The stolen equipment contained precious platinum and gold which were seen as the key motive for the theft. Taganrog-based taxi driver Zhora Khachunts, 36, was detained over the heist but he denied involvement and argued that he was framed as a ‘scapegoat,’ according to the Mail.
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