Vladimir Putin’s special ‘Doomsday’ plane, which allows him to continue leading Russia through a nuclear war, has been seen flying around Moscow in recent days.
The video shows the Ilyushin Il-80 passing low over the city’s outskirts amid tension that it will resort to atomic weapons during the conflict in Ukraine.
But Russian officials have insisted the plane will be displayed with a low flypast during Monday’s annual Victory Day parade in Red Square, and is involved in “rehearsals” for the display.
Vladimir Putin’s special ‘Doomsday’ plane, which allows him to continue to lead Russia during a nuclear war, was seen flying around Moscow
The giant Soviet-era plane is windowless except for the cockpit and known as the ‘Flying Kremlin’
Russian officials have insisted the plane will be displayed with a low flypast during Monday’s annual Victory Day parade in Red Square
The giant Soviet-era plane – windowless except for the cockpit and known as the ‘Flying Kremlin’ – was not seen during a Victory Day commemoration – marking the defeat of ‘Hitler and the end of World War II – since 2010.
His reappearance is a sign that Putin wants to send a warning message to the West.
The Il-80 Maxdome will be escorted by two MiG-29s as it flies low over St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Bringing back Russia’s nuclear readiness, the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 “White Swan” strategic missile carriers will be part of the flyover.
A fifth-generation Su-57 fighter and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers will be on display.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that eight MiG-29SMTs will fly in the form of the letter “Z” to support Russian servicemen participating in a special military operation in Ukraine.
He has not been seen at a VE Day commemoration – marking Hitler’s defeat and the end of World War Two – since 2010 (pictured)
Ilyushin Il-80: Putin’s Flying War Room
The windowless Il-80 is Putin’s so-called Doomsday plane, designed to act as a Kremlin in the sky in the event of a nuclear attack.
Putin would be able to rule Russia and give orders to his army from the airborne command post in the event of a full-scale war.
This includes the ability to order a nuclear strike.
The crown jewel of the Il-80’s equipment is known as the Zveno-S, which features an advanced communications suite that uses satellite antennas housed on top in a large, oval-shaped pod facing outwards. front of the plane.
Two other larger nacelles – fixed under the wings – each carry a turbine engine which serves as an additional power source for the on-board equipment.
There is also a special Very Low Frequency (VLF) antenna system used to communicate with submarines carrying ballistic missiles.
Il-80s first flew in 1987, and an upgrade program was started in 2008, in which the second version of Zveno-S was introduced on at least two of the aircraft.
Length: 200 feet (60 meters)
Wingspan: 160 feet (48 meters)
Cruising speed: 530 mph (850 km/h)
Vary: 2,230 miles (3,600 km)
Type of engine: Kuznetsov NK-86
First flight: March 5, 1987
Number built: 4
Critics see the “Z” sign as similar to the swastika in Nazi Germany.
The heavy Il-80 Maxdome is designed to act as a Kremlin in the sky in the event of a nuclear attack and can be refueled in the air.
Putin would be able to rule Russia and give orders to his army for nuclear strikes from the airborne command post.
A large “canoe” for satellite communications sits atop its forward fuselage, with large antennae aft.
The tail of the aircraft also houses a winch for a very low frequency (VLF) towed antenna.
The horizontal stabilizers also have room for more sensors or communication antennas.
The aircraft has two large electric generator nacelles inside its engines.
A retractable refueling probe is located under the cockpit.
The planes are to be replaced with more modern Ilyushin 96-400Ms, allowing the Russian leader more comfort as he controls troops and missiles during a nuclear disaster.
The first of the new airborne command and control planes is currently under construction, a military-industrial source said, but is not believed to be ready yet.
In an embarrassing security breach, one of four existing planes was infiltrated and stolen last year while undergoing a refit in the Russian city of Taganrog on the Sea of Azov.
Some 39 pieces of radio equipment were stolen after a loading hatch was opened.
The equipment contained precious metals, gold and platinum, which are believed to be a possible motive for the theft.
It weighed several kilograms.
Local taxi driver Zhora Khachunts, 36, was arrested for the embarrassing robbery but claimed he was framed.
Russian gossip columnist Bozhena Rynska said: “How sweet. Leaders will press the red button and travel behind the Urals in a cool ******* plane.
“And we will remain as radioactive ashes.”