Operating in a nuclear war: US to create a new fleet of "doomsday planes"
The US Air Force intends to create a new aircraft fleet for nuclear war. We are talking about the so-called "Doomsday Aircraft" capable of protecting the crew and passengers from an atomic bomb explosion.
After Boeing was excluded from the competition, the private firm Sierra Nevada Corp. is now a likely contender for a contract with the US Air Force, Reuters reports.
The US Air Force, which plans to sign a contract for the construction of a new "Doomsday Aircraft" in 2024, declined to comment on whether other firms have submitted proposals.
At the same time, it is known that the E-4B Nightwatch is currently the "Doomsday Aircraft" in the United States. However, it has been in use since the 1970s and its service life expires in 2030.
According to budget documents, the U.S. Air Force plans to spend $889 million in fiscal year 2024 on the development of the Doomsday Plane. Another $8.3 billion will be allocated for the program until 2028.
Today, the E-4B Nightwatch is used to transport the US Secretary of Defense. The aircraft is designed as a mobile command post capable of withstanding nuclear explosions and electromagnetic attacks, allowing senior U.S. officials to issue orders to the military in the event of an emergency. Currently, the United States has four E-4B aircraft in service, but only one of them is constantly on alert.
E-4B aircraft can stay in flight for a whole week if they are refueled from the air. All equipment on board is protected from the damaging effects of a nuclear explosion. Each machine can lift a hundred people into the air.
As a reminder, on November 18, the French Armed Forces tested the M51.3 intercontinental strategic missile. The launch was carried out without the use of a nuclear warhead. The French Ministry of Defense said it was ready to protect the country's vital interests under any circumstances.
Earlier, it was reported that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a law to revoke the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The Kremlin said that the withdrawal of the treaty's ratification "levels the playing field in the area of nuclear testing for Russia and the United States."