A Doomsday plane capable of withstanding nuclear blasts has been spotted flying over the English Channel amid growing fears that Russia will launch a nuclear war following the invasion of Ukraine.
The Boeing 747 Nightwatch plane is currently flying over an area north of Cambridge after taking off from Washington, according to Flight Radar 24.
The £150million plane was designed to withstand the electromagnetic pulse of a catastrophic explosion and can stay aloft for days.
Since the 1970s, Washington has maintained a fleet of Boeing 747 E4-B Nightwatch command and control aircraft, for the sole purpose of supplying an airborne base during a nuclear war.
The aircraft, which was designed during the Cold War, is also known as the “Flying Pentagon”. It has been reported that at least one E4-B is kept ready 24/7.
As tension mounts over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO has pledged to increase resources on the continent’s eastern front, Express reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already placed its nuclear resources on full alert.
He also refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an existential threat to Russia.
NATO forces have so far refrained from getting directly involved in any form of conflict.
The Airborne Command Post is a mobile war room filled with military analysts, strategists and communications aides who would guide Joe Biden through the early days of a nuclear war.
Although the planes are not technically secret, they are rarely mentioned and their full capabilities are classified.
After taking off from Washington, and passing over the Atlantic and the English Channel, the plane appears to be heading for RAF Mildenhall.
Designed during the Cold War, the Nightwatch has three decks. It can hold a crew of 112 and can fly for 12 hours without landing, while aerial refueling means it can stay aloft for days.
Her windows are said to have wire mesh to keep them intact, while onboard equipment and wiring are reinforced and there is thermal and nuclear shielding in the event of an explosion.
Inside, there are 18 berths and six bathrooms, a briefing room, a conference room, workspaces and executive quarters – but unlike Air Force One, the decor is said to be functional, suitable for its military role.
The bubble on top is called a “ray dome” or “radome” and contains dozens of satellite dishes and antennas that can communicate with any US ship, submarine or aircraft anywhere in the world.
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