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Il-80 / Il-86VKP / Il-87 Maxdome

The Il-86VKP ("veh-kah-peh" - Vozdooshniy Komanndniy Poonkt - airborne command post) is Russia's counterpart to the Boeing E-4B NEACP (National Emergency Airborne Command Post). It is meant to fly the the President of Russia and/or surviving authority figures and highest ranking members of the Soviet (now Russian) government to safety in the event of all-out nuclear war.

The IL-80 (IL-86VKP) is the air or air command center command post of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The aircraft is designed for the control of the armed units of the Russian army in military conflicts with the use of nuclear weapons. It developed in the Design Bureau. Ilyushin in 1980 on the basis of passenger aircraft IL-86. In some sources the plane is called "IL-87".

Some sources report that the Il-80 / Il-86VKP has the NATO reporting name Camber: the same as the passenger Il-86. Other sources report the aircraft is the IL-87 Maxdome. The Russian military name is Aimak. The word Aimak, or Eimak (Mongolian for "clan," or section of a tribe), is the name given to certain nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes of Mongolian stock inhabiting the north and north-west Afghan highlands immediately to the north of Herat. They were originally known as "Chahar (the four) Eimaks," because there were four principal tribes. They are a bold, wild people and renowned fighters.

On July 10, 1991 the NPP "Flight" and the Defense Ministry of the USSR signed an agreement on the implementation of development activities (R & D) for the development and creation of a unified board of the technical means for the aircraft. According to open sources, first flew on May 29, 1985, and fully stocked with equipment - March 5, 1987. It entered service in 1992. However, according to unconfirmed reports the test aircraft was completed in 1995 or 1997. Also in 1992, for the first time it was photographed by Western photographers.

The first Il-86VKP "Maxdome" was believed to have flown for the first time in the summer of 1985, with the first completed model flying on March 5, 1987. Deliveries reportedly begain 1987. Four aircraft were converted, originally registered SSSR-86146 through 86149, and were first observed by western photographers in 1992. Apparently the last four Il-86s built, the aircraft are heavily modified from the standard Il-86 airliner configuration.

On April 15, 1997 the Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with his AK. Ilyushin to perform R & D, "the development of conceptual and technical modernization project Vol. 80 and Vol. 82" (IL-80 and IL-82). Apparently, as of the year 2012 of the implementation of the requirements of the customer under this agreement is fully implemented.

According to the developers, on-board hardware includes up to 300 units of equipment. Normal take-off weight - 208 tons, the length of the aircraft - 59.54 meters, wingspan - 48.06 meters. The aircraft is equipped with four engines NK-86 thrust of 13,000 kg each. Cruising speed - 850 km / h, range - 3600 km. Service ceiling - 11 000m. Any other information on these machines is closed. This is one of the few still not declassified aircraft models.

An IL-86 was built in a special version of "Russia" to serve the President of Russia and three - in the form flying command post Il-80 - control of the armed forces in case of nuclear conflict. Four airframes (c/n 042, 043, 046 and 048, carrying quasi-civil registrations SSSR-86046, '7, '8 and '9) were delivered to the 8th Special Purposes Aviation Division at the Chkalovsky air base near Moscow.

The onboard air conditioning is filtered to keep radioactive fallout. It is hardened against flash and electromagnetic pulse. All cabin windows are deleted (including the portholes in the doors) in order to protect it from an electromagnetic pulse or nuclear explosion. Cabin entry doors are deleted except for the upper deck forward door on the left and the aft door on the right. Two of the three air stair doors [except the forward one] in the lower fuselange that characterize the Il-86 are missing. There is a baffle blocking the aft cockpit windows, possibly as an EMP or RF hazard shield.

Externally the aircraft are easily identified by the large dorsal SATCOM canoe on the upper forward fuselage. There two large blade antennae aft of this canoe, and numerous other small fairings forward of the vertical fin on the aft upper fuselage, and extending aft from the main lanning gear well on the lower fuselage. The lower fuselage fairings are symmetrical left and right of centerline. A small hemispherical pod is located above the APU exhaust. The tail houses a winch for a towed VLF antenna [possibly to communicate with SSBNs ], with a VLF trailing wire antenna fair lead located on the lower left side of the fuselage. A retractable refuelling probe is fitted below the cockpit on the left, with a pipe running back over the wing. It appears this directs fuel flow into the main wing tanks. The horizontal stabilizers appear to have a collar wrapped around their upper and lower surfaces inboard from the tip, which may be a sensor or communication antenna.

Another departure from the standard Il-86 airliner configuration is the two large turbine-powered electrical generator pods mounted on large pylons inboard of the inboard engine nacelles. These pods are approximately 9.5 metres (32 feet) long and 1.3 metres (4 feet) in diameter. Each features an air intake scoop on its right side, with a jet exhaust on the outboard side of the aft end. Smaller intakes are on each side near the nose, and both pods have a landing light mounted at their extreme front end.

By some reports three Il-80's remained in service; they are painted in Aeroflot colors and international civilian registrations RA-86147, RA-86148, and RA-86149. RA-86147 has been photographed without engines, apparently out of service. The Il-86VKPs are based at Chkalovsky Airbase 30km (20 miles) northeast of Moscow (near the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City). They are rarely seen, although at least one was flown at an airshow.

On 01 December 2015 "United Instrument Corporation" (UIC, a state corporation of Rostec, announced the creation of the air command post of the second generation of strategic management based on the Il-80. The aircraft would be delivered by the Defense Ministry before the end of 2015.

The Air Command Post on the basis of the Il-80 is included in the system of air control centers of the Armed Forces. It is designed to work in conditions of failure of ground control points, knots and lines, rapidly changing operational environment, as well as in the case of an opponent of nuclear weapons. For this reason, aircraft of this type are called "Doomsday planes." Only two countries in the world possess such weapons - Russia and the United States. An analog of the Russian Il-80 is the American Boeing E-4B.

Deputy General Director Sergey Skokov of UIC said that a new generation of Russian airborne command post has high survivability, functionality, reliability, improved weight and size and lower power consumption. Technical specifications of the permit to manage the land forces, navy, air and space forces, as well as the Strategic Missile Forces. The goal is the organization of communication networks in a totally unsuitable conditions where the ground infrastructure is non-existent or completely destroyed.

According to the publication, The Military Balance, by 2015 at last 4 IL-80 were in service with the Russian Federation. In all there were four such aircraft - registration numbers of the USSR-86146, USSR-86147, 86148, and the USSR-86149. All aircraft were in operation in a separate aviation squadron management and retransmission of the 8th Air Division Task, 1997 transferred to the third formed an aviation squadron, stationed at the airfield Chkalovsky outside Moscow.

Previously, the general director of RPC "Polyot" (included in the defense industry) Alexander Komyakov said that currently under development was a strategic point of air management of the third generation, but the timing and characteristics of the aircraft was too early.

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