The Russian aviation industry has begun working on a new “Doomsday aircraft” under project Link-3C to replace the Il-80. It was announced on Sunday, August 22, by the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov.
“Work in this direction is underway. The customer for such special vehicles is the military department,” Manturov said in an interview with Interfax, answering a question about the development of a new air command post to replace the Il-80.
On July 26, it became known that in Voronezh, specialists had begun to create the latest troop control aircraft in case of a nuclear war. The aircraft’s latest radio complex will deliver orders to troops, including strategic aviation, mobile and silo launchers, and submarines carrying strategic nuclear weapons within a radius of 6 thousand km.
The Russian forces will receive two such aircraft, but it is assumed that the Ministry of Defense could order a third aircraft in the future.
In the fall of 2020, it was announced that Il-96-400M would replace doomsday aircraft based on Il-80. It is noted that the flight range of the new planes will be double in comparison with their predecessors.
The air command and control centers are called “Doomsday planes” in the United States. The aircraft is to be used in the case of a nuclear war to evacuate the country’s top leadership and command and control troops in the event of the destruction of ground and satellite infrastructure. The E-4B, based on the Boeing 747, performs this function.