There’s a Russian Air Force “doomsday plane” circling over Sochi

A Tu-214SR circling from a few hours over Sochi for the opening ceremony.

The Tupolev Tu-214SR is a Special Mission Aircraft of the Russian Air Force. Although few details about this special plane are known, the “SR” is belived to be a communication relay aircraft, often accompanying Putin’s presidential aircraft on its travels.

In other words, it is the Russian “doomsday” plane, with an airborne command and control role similar to that of the U.S. E-4B.

Another variant of the same aircraft, dubbed Tu-214R is modified for ELINT (Electronic Intelligence)/ SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) mission.

The aircraft can be tracked on and circling near Sochi (not far from the two U.S. warships in the Black Sea).

Top image screenshot from


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.