America’s ‘Doomsday Plane’ Takes Four Hour Training Flight Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

by Liz Holland
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The U.S. Air Force’s nuclear bomb-resistant “doomsday plane” was in the skies recently. The modified Boeing 747 is designed to protect government officials from a nuclear attack. After Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country’s nuclear forces on high alert, the “doomsday plane” took to the skies for a four-hour-long training flight. 

Data from military flight-tracking sites show that the aircraft departed the U.S. Air Force Base in Lincoln, Nebraska on Monday. According to “i news,” The E-4B carried out a training flight with another specialist military aircraft.

The planes are designed to operate as full-fledged command centers for the U.S. President and his top officials in case of a nuclear war or national emergency. This includes the Secretary of Defense as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Unlike other aircraft that the U.S. Air Force uses, these specialist planes boast unique features and capabilities.

The training flight lasted for about four and a half hours, as it headed toward Chicago before returning to the base in Nebraska. Two “Cobra Ball” jets joined the aircraft in flight. The design of these machines enables them to track the trajectory of a ballistic missile. It is unclear why these machines joined the “doomsday plane” training flight. According to The Daily Mail, The Pentagon did not respond to their request for comment on why the exercise took place. 

What Prompted the ‘Doomsday Plane’ Training Flight?

However, the flight comes just one day after a notable statement from Putin. Just one day earlier, Putin stated he place Moscow’s nuclear forces on a “special regime of combat duty.” He says the move is a result of “aggressive statements” from NATO alliance members. 

E-4B doomsday planes follow the President of the United States for both domestic and international travel. The aircraft has been in operation since 1980, with a service life expectancy to last until 2039. The planes not only carry special equipment but also hold capabilities to communicate with anyone in any location.

Additionally, the crafts carry support analysts and strategists in-flight with them. The planes also have the impressive capability to receive fuel while in air. In one instance, the planes have remained airborne for as long as 35.4 hours in one go. However, the design should allow it to operate in-flight for an entire week. 

The design of the doomsday plane intends for it to withstand electromagnetic pulses from a nuclear attack and remain operational. The aircraft even use traditional analog flight instruments over digital, strictly because they are less vulnerable to interference.

Additionally, each plane has 3 decks and is capable of operating with a crew as large as 112 people. The planes also feature additional equipment that should allow the President to maintain communication with the nuclear submarine fleet even if communication on the ground is destroyed.

Outsider.com