MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. An airborne command post based on the upgraded Ilyushin Il-96-400 aircraft and expected to be delivered to the Russian Defense Ministry this year is not "a doomsday plane," a spokesman for the United Instrument-Making Corporation told TASS on Tuesday.
Airborne command posts were called doomsday planes in the United States: they were expected to be used in case of a nuclear war, if ground command centers were destroyed.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday it would receive a specialized airborne command post based on the Il-96-400 plane this year. Some media sources reported that the Defense Ministry would get "a doomsday plane" based on the Il-96-400 aircraft.
"This is not a doomsday plane. These are journalists’ speculations. A completely different machine with different functions that has nothing to do with doomsday planes will be made operational for the Defense Ministry this year," the spokesman said.
United Instrument-Making Corporation CEO Alexander Yakunin told TASS last year that the third generation of airborne command posts also known as doomsday planes would appear in Russia in five-seven years. Later, the United Instrument-Making Corporation said that such planes would be developed on the basis of the Il-96-400 aircraft.