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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The next, third generation of airborne strategic command centres, known as "doomsday planes" will emerge in Russia in five to seven years from now, the general director of the United Instrument Engineering Corporation (an affiliate of Rostec) Alexander Yakunin has told TASS in an interview.
"At the moment we are about to deliver a second generation plane to the Defense Ministry. In the meantime, work is in progress on the next, third generation. According to our estimates it will materialize in five-seven years’ time," Yakunin said.
Such planes are part and parcel of the general armed forces control system, but meant for use in critical situations, when ground command centres and communication lines go out of order. Also, airborne command centres may be used in fast-changing situations.
"The third generation planes will have advanced equipment boasting better data transmission channels ensuring a higher level of on-line communication and command. The planes will maintain contact with automated command systems on the ground. These are undergoing upgrade at the moment," Yakunin said.
The airborne command posts are capable of controlling all arms and services, including the strategic missile force, air and space force, surface ships and submarines.
The airborne command centres have been dubbed "doomsday planes" in the United States, for it was assumed that they would be employed in case of a nuclear war, when all ground command infrastructures have been destroyed. The most well-known models of such special purpose planes are the United States’ E-4B based on Boeing 747 passenger liners and Russia’s Ilyushin-80, developed on the basis of the Ilyushin-86 jet.