NATO Summit: Apocalypse Plane Lands in Vilnius

Boeing 747-E4B known as “Doomsday” landed at Vilnius airport on Tuesday morning.

On the first day of NATO summit in Vilnius, the Doomsday plane landed in the Lithuanian capital and was “parked” next to Joe Biden’s presidential Air Force One. The message to the Kremlin is clear: NATO does not trust Russia and fears nuclear escalation from the Kremlin.

On the eve of the NATO summit, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, in an interview with a British newspaper The Times, branded the 1997 cooperation agreement between NATO and Russia as “dead” and said that the Alliance should build multiple new military bases along Russia’s borders after Moscow moved some of its nuclear arsenals to neighboring Belarus.

The Boeing 747 E-4B Nightwatch strategic aircraft is officially referred to as the National Airborne Operations Center, but is commonly known as the Doomsday aircraft. It was designed during the Cold War years – which in the current realities of the 21st century seems like child’s play – to function as a super-protected flying commandos center, from where the American president could issue orders if necessary. The USA currently has four aircraft of this type, which – at least in theory – are capable of surviving the devastating and deadly effects of a nuclear attack, in order to keep the US president in contact with the armed forces and with allies via satellite. The aircraft’s systems switch on protection against nuclear and thermal impacts, acoustic monitoring, advanced engineering controls, and an air conditioning system for filtering contaminated air and for cooling complex electronic components. Thanks to an in-flight refueling system, the Doomsday plane with more than a hundred people on board can stay airborne for a week without landing.

The day before, a group of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons landed at the American military base Misawa in Japan, just 600 kilometers from the Russian territory.