Tag Archives: Joint Chiefs of Staff

Let’s have a look at the Russian Air Force Il-80 Maxdome, Putin’s “doomsday plane”

The next generation Il-80 airborne command post is about to enter active service with the Russian Air Force.

The Russian Air Force will soon operate an upgraded Il-80 Maxdome airborne command post.

In fact, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, a “new” version of the Russian “doomsday plane” has recently successfully completed the testing campaign and is ready to enter into active service by the end of the year.

The aircraft is one of the four Il-80 aircraft, heavily modified Il-86 airliners, used as airborne command center in a role similar to that of the U.S. Boeing E-4B since the mid-1980s.

In service with the 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division, at Chkalovsky Airport, near Moscow, the Il-80 is meant to keep the top Russian officials, including the President, alive and safe in case of nuclear war: for this reason, the Maxdome does not feature any external windows (other than the cockpit windshield) and it is equipped with domes, bulges and antennas meant to block EMP, RF pulse, and to shield against nuclear blasts while ensuring the ability to communicate with other assets including ballistic missile submarines when the ground infrastructure is heavily damaged or destroyed.

The extent of the modifications is unclear.

“The new generation airborne command post has improved survivability, functionality and reliability, and the  electronics on board have reduced mass-dimensional characteristics and power consumption, its producer claims,” according to RT.

As said, the American counterpart of the Il-80, is the U.S. Air Force E-4B, a modified B747-200 that serves as National Airborne Operations Center. Four such aircraft (based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska) are responsible to keep the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top personalities alive in the event of Armageddon (a nuclear war, a terrorist attack, a zombie revolution or an alien invasion).

The E-4B is an airborne command, control and communications center to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages). Its backup is the U.S. Navy E-6B TACAMO (TAke Charge And Move Out): the E-6 “Mercury” relay instructions to the fleet ballistic missile submarines in case of nuclear war but can also act as ABNCP (Airborne Command Post) platforms as E-4B back-ups.

Image credit: Kirill Naumenko via Wikimedia Commons

 

Enjoy a Guided Tour Inside the E-4B NAOC Doomsday Plane

The E-4B is one of the so-called Doomsday planes.

In the event of a nuclear war, a terrorist attack, an alien invasion or, generally speaking, Armageddon, the U.S. Air Force’s four E-4B planes based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska will be responsible to keep the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top personalities alive whilst Obama would be on board the Air Force One.

The E-4B is a modified B747-200 that serves as National Airborne Operations Center providing a flying command, control and communications center to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice.  An E-4B always supports Air Force One’s trips abroad. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled.

The following video gives you the opportunity to take a guided tour inside one of these interesting and important planes.

 

H/T to Jonathan Kohn for the heads-up

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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Photo shows U.S. E-4B doomsday plane on the ground at Incirlik, Turkey

Everybody know E-4Bs are extremely important. In the event of a war, a terrorist attack, an alien invasion and so on (hence the “doomsday plane” nickname), these aircraft are destined to keep the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other “decision makers” alive to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled: that’s why a “doomsday plane” was seen orbiting above Washington DC minutes after a hijacked plane had crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

The E-6B Mercury, whose mission could be a sign that the Syria air war has just started, can do the same job.

Anyway, an E-4B was on the ground at Incirlik on Aug. 27. What was the doomsday plane doing in Turkey?

Update: Hagel visited Malaysia on Aug. 24 and later was in Brunei. Maybe this was a back-up plane?

Image courtesy of Kokpit.Aero website

 

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“Doomsday” planes will keep U.S. decision makers alive in case of Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st

Even if scientists have already debunked the Mayan Apocalypse myth, there is a lot of people who still take the alleged imminent end of the world quite seriously.

People around the world is taking different precautions for the many ways the end of the world could become a reality by the end of the week, the most popular of those is the use of shelters or survival pods capable to withstand massive solar storms, huge waves, weather events and so on.

However, if you were among the few U.S. “decision makers”, your escape plan would already have been established and your survival pod would come in the form on an E-4B plane.

In the event of a war, a terrorist attack, a zombie apocalypse, alien invasion etc., whilst the President of the U.S. would be on board the Air Force One,  the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top personalities would be kept alive on board the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of four E-4B planes based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

The aerial platform (supported by several tankers) would give the U.S. military the capability to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

Nicknamed “doomsday planes”, such modified B747-200s serve as National Airborne Operations Centers providing “a highly survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities.”

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled: that’s why a “doomsday plane” was seen orbiting above Washington DC minutes after a hijacked plane had crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

The E-6B Mercury can do the same job.

Built on the Boeing 707 airframe and using a B737 cockpit, this aircraft has a range of 5,500 miles, and accommodates 23 crew members. The U.S. Navy has a total fleet of sixteen E-6Bs. It can perform the so-called Looking Glass mission (mirroring the ground-based C3 center at Offutt AFB and relaying orders), it can talk to submarines trailing a 26,000 ft wire antenna, it can launch commands to ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) via Airborne Launch Control System, and can perform C3 (Command Control Communication) operations to forces operating in theatre.

For this reason they are often deployed abroad: they were monitored in Iraq and have been deployed to the UK in the past.

One E-6B mysteriously circled above the British islands during the Osama Bin Laden raid.

Hence, on Dec. 21, there’s nothing to worry about. Still, if you live near Andrews Air Force Base, and see the Air Force One leaving accompanied by some E-4Bs, maybe it’s time to run towards the nearest shelter…

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