Doomsday plane designed to withstand nuclear blasts spotted flying over English Channel

A plane designed to withstand nuclear blasts has been spotted flying across the English Channel.

Nicknamed the “Flying Pentagon”, the aircraft is a Boeing 747 E-4B originating from the Cold War era, designed to provide an airborne base for the US President, Secretary of Defense and senior military personnel to conduct operations in the event of nuclear war. .

Based in Washington, USA, at least one Nightwatch aircraft has been available 24/7 since the 1970s.

A Boeing 747 E-4B. Credit: Alamy

As tensions continue to rise globally following Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, it is no surprise that NATO has increased its military assets on the continent’s eastern front.

Fears of nuclear war have also intensified, with President Vladimir Putin announcing that he has placed his nuclear resources on full alert.

He had previously refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons if he thought Russia’s position was under threat.

E4-B – GRIM99 – was spotted taking off from Washington, after which it crossed the Atlantic and the English Channel.

The GRIM99 shortly before flying over the British Channel.  Credit: Twitter
The GRIM99 shortly before flying over the British Channel. Credit: Twitter

According to Flight Radar, the plane is currently circling an area just north of Cambridge, and the plane is believed to be heading towards RAF Mildenhall, according to The Express.

Designed during the Cold War, the Nightwatch can flying for 12 hours without landing, while aerial refueling means it can actually stay aloft for days.

Its main priority is to resist the electromagnetic pulse of nuclear explosions.

The plane has three decks that aim to house a crew of 112, made up of a number of military analysts, strategists and communications aides who would help Joe Biden in the event of a nuclear war.

The aircraft's main priority is to resist the electromagnetic pulse of nuclear explosions.  Credit: Alamy
The aircraft’s main priority is to resist the electromagnetic pulse of nuclear explosions. Credit: Alamy

Inside, it has 18 bunk beds and six bathrooms, a briefing room, a conference room, work spaces and executive quarters.

However, the interior and furnishings are said to be functional, designed with its military role in mind, unlike Air Force One.

The aircraft has a bubble on top called a “ray dome”, which contains dozens of satellite dishes and antennas that can communicate with any US ship, submarine or aircraft in the world at any time.

Although the planes are no secret, they are rarely mentioned in the public domain and their full capabilities are classified.

Russia also has a “doomsday plane” – a Model Ilyushin Il-80 known as maxdome.

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