The flying castle, nicknamed the “Doomsday Plane”, was supposed to take part in Russia’s Victory Day celebrations, but its participation was canceled, and the Kremlin attributed the reason to weather conditions.
This is a modified Illusion, experts say, but its nicknames, Doomsday Plane and Flying Kremlin, tell the true story.
According to Cedric Leighton, a former US Air Force Intelligence officer, “This is the main aircraft for their command and control center capabilities, and it is the main aircraft for them to run their country.”
The plane is also designed to protect Putin in a worst-case scenario, as Caitlin Lee of the Mitchell Institute for Space Studies notes that “Russia will use the plane to fly essentially all its command. The primary objective of the plane is to keep the Russian leadership safe and survivable in the event of a potential nuclear exchange.” .
The mysterious plane, also known as the “Max Dome”, has no exterior windows, except for the cockpit. Analysts say the doomsday plane is essentially an air command center with special communications equipment so that Putin can issue orders for military strikes.
The plane’s fuel can also be refueled in the air, experts say, allowing it to stay in the air for extended periods. The Kremlin has not been seen flying in the Victory Day parade since 2010, and analysts say the intention to display it publicly may be an indication that Putin has sent a warning to the West as the war in Ukraine raged.
On the other side, there is an American version of the doomsday plane to protect the president. Caitlin Lee says it’s “called the E-4B Nightwatch”, and like the Russian plane, it was designed for the US Senior Command to continue command and control of nuclear forces while they happen. Escalation in the event of a nuclear attack.
Experts say the United States actually has a fleet of 4 doomsday planes, and they say they don’t routinely fly the president on every flight, but one of them is prepared around the clock for possible dispatch anywhere in the world.