Sources in the Russian aircraft industry have said that Russia’s new Airborne Command Post (Doomsday plane) will be built on the basis of an Il-96-400M quadjet long-haul wide-body airliner, reports TASS.
Currently, an Il-80 plane is used for the purpose.
"It is scheduled to replace it with an Il-96-400M. It will allow to significantly increase the period of airborne combat duty and to extend the radius for troop command," said TASS' source.
Airborne Command Posts were nicknamed Doomsday planes in the United States, as they are designed for use in the event of a nuclear war or a major disaster that destroys ground-based command infrastructure.
The best-known jets of this class are US-made E-4B, based on Boeing 747, and Russian Il-80, based on Il-86 passenger jets. According to open-access sources, the Russian armed forces currently have four such planes in service.