A Doomsday plane that can withstand nuclear blasts has been spotted flying over the English Channel as fears grow that Russia will spark a nuclear war following the invasion against Ukraine.
The Boeing 747 Nightwatch aircraft is currently circling an area north of Cambridge following its take off from Washington, according to Flight Radar 24.
The plane, which is worth £150 million, has been made to hold out against the electromagnetic pulse from a catastrophic blast and can stay in the air for days.
Since the 70s, Washington has preserved a fleet of Nightwatch command-and-control Boeing 747 E4-B, with the sole aim of supplying an airborne base during a nuclear war.
The aircraft, which was designed in the cold war, is also known as the “Flying Pentagon”. It has been reported that at least one E4-B is kept on 24/7 readiness.
With tension mounting over the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO has vowed to increase resources on the Eastern Front of the continent, reports Express.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already placed his nuclear resources on full alert.
He has also refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons should there be an existential threat to Russia.
NATO forces have so far held back from becoming directly involved in any form of conflict.
The airborne command post is a mobile war room stuffed with military analysts, strategists and communications aides who would guide Joe Biden through the first days of a nuclear war.
While the planes are not technically secret, they are rarely mentioned and their full capabilities are classified.
Having taken off from Washington, and passed over the Atlantic and the English Channel, the aircraft appears to be headed for RAF Mildenhall.
Designed during the Cold War, the Nightwatch has three decks. It can hold a crew of 112 people and can fly for 12 hours without landing, – while aerial refuelling means it can stay in the air for days.
Its windows are reported to have wire mesh to keep them intact, while equipment and wiring on board are hardened and there is thermal and nuclear shielding in the event of a blast.
Inside, it has 18 bunks and six bathrooms, a briefing room, conference room, work areas and executive quarters – but unlike Air Force One the décor is said to be functional, befitting its military role.
The bubble on the top is called a “ray dome” or “radome” and contains dozens of satellite dishes and antennae which can communicate with any US ship, submarine or aircraft anywhere in the world.
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up for one of our newsletters here .