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Virtual Earth map of IL-86WKP Airborne Commando Post

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The Ilyushin Il-80 (NATO reporting name: Maxdome) is a Russian airborne command post.

Modeled after the Ilyushin Il-86, the Il-80 is meant to be used as a command center for Russian officials such as the President, in the event of nuclear war. Its role is similar to that of the Boeing E-4B. The Il-80 has no external windows (save those on the cabin) in order to protect it from an electromagnetic pulse or nuclear explosion. A dorsal dome similar to that of the E-4B is believed to house advanced satellite communications equipment and has very large trailing antenna attached to it.

The Il-80 was believed to have flown for the first time in the summer of 1985, with the first completed model flying on March 5, 1987. It was first noticed by Western observers in 1992.

A similar model, the Il-82, is intended as an airborne early warning reconnaissance aircraft.



 

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