Police Searching Thieves Who Stole Equipment From Russia’s ‘Doomsday’ Plane

Police in Russia say they are searching for thieves who stole technical equipment from a top-secret military aircraft known as the “Doomsday Plane” that is designed to survive a nuclear war.

Russia has opened criminal case into the theft.

Thieves this week targeted one of Russia’s “doomsday” (command center) plane, the military aircraft that would be used by top officials, including Vladimir Putin, in case of a nuclear war.

The robbery of the Ilyushin-80, a mobile command post specially designed to keep officials alive and in command of the military during a nuclear conflict, took place at an airfield in southern Russia, The Guardian reported citing state media.

The thieves managed to open the highly classified aircraft’s cargo hatch and make off with 39 pieces of radio equipment. They have not been caught.

Russia’s Interior ministry officials confirmed that a plane at Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex was robbed, although they did not specify which one.

Ren-TV, a Russian television station, reported that police had found shoe and fingerprints aboard the aircraft.

Russia has just four Ilyushin-80 planes, modified Il-86s that are specially equipped to protect those aboard in the event of a nuclear war. The plane does not have any passenger windows, to prevent passengers from being blinded by atomic explosions.

In the event of a conflict, it is expected that Putin and other political and military officials would board the planes and command the country’s defenses while remaining airborne, possibly for several days (with refueling).