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US ‘doomsday plane’ made four-hour flight following Putin’s nuclear weapons threat

The Boeing 747 modified to provide a flying command centre in the event of a nuclear conflict conducted a mission with other early warning jets but Washington has underlined it sees 'no reason' to change its nuclear posture

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The Boeing 747 modified to provide a flying command centre in the event of a nuclear conflict conducted a mission with other early warning jets but Washington has underlined it sees ’no reason’ to change its nuclear posture

Highlights

  • $200m ‘doomsday plane’ designed to act as a flying control centre in the event of a nuclear conflict was sent on a four-hour training sortie on Monday.
  • The modified Boeing 747 has the call sign “GORDO15” and conducted a mission with other early warning jets.
  • Washington has maintained a fleet of so-called “Nightwatch” command-and-control Boeing 747 E4-B aircraft since the 70s with the specific purpose of providing an airborne base for the US defence secretary and senior military personnel to conduct operations during a nuclear war.
  • Monday’s 4.5-hour flight towards Chicago and back appeared to be unusual in involving several other early-warning and command and control aircraft.