Ilyushin Il-80

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Il-80
Ilyushin Il-80 over Moscow 6 May 2010.jpg
Ilyushin Il-80 flying over Moscow on 6 May 2010
Role Airborne command post
Manufacturer Ilyushin
First flight 5 March 1987
Primary user Russian Air Force
Number built 4

The Ilyushin Il-80 (NATO reporting name: Maxdome) is a Russian airborne command and control aircraft. It is a modified Ilyushin Il-86 airliner.

Development[edit]

Aerial refueling Probe-and-drogue system visible at the forward left side of fuselage

The Ilyushin Il-80 has the NATO reporting name Maxdome[1] (though some sources claim it uses the reporting name Camber, like the Il-86 passenger jet).[1] The Russian reporting name for the aircraft is Aimak, or Eimak (Mongolian for "clan,").[1] The aircraft is believed to have first flown in the summer of 1985, with the first post-modification flight taking place on March 5, 1987, and deliveries starting later that year.[1][2] In all, four aircraft are known to have been converted from Il-86s[1] They were registered SSSR-86146 through 86149, and were first observed by western photographers in 1992.[2]

Heavily modified from the Ilyushin Il-86, the Il-80 (also referred to as the Il-86VKP) is meant to be used as an airborne command center for Russian officials, including the President, in the event of nuclear war.[1] The role of the Ilyushin Il-80 is similar to that of the Boeing E-4B.[3] The Il-80 has no external windows (save those in the cockpit), to shield it from a nuclear blast and nuclear electromagnetic pulse.[2] Only the upper deck forward door on the left and the aft door on the right remain from the standard design.[1] There is only one airstair door, instead of three. An unusual baffle blocks the aft cockpit windows. This may serve to block EMP or RF pulses.[1]

Unlike the standard Il-86 airliner, the Il-80 has two electrical generator pods mounted inboard of the engine nacelles.[1] Each pod is approximately 9.5 metres (32 feet) long and 1.3 metres (4 feet) in diameter.[1] Both pods include landing lights.[1]

Like the E-4B, the aircraft has a dorsal SATCOM canoe, believed to house advanced satellite communications equipment,[1][2] and a trailing wire antenna mounted in the lower aft fuselage for very low frequency (VLF) radio transmission and reception (likely for communication with ballistic missile submarines).[1][2]

Replacement[edit]

When the present upgrades have reached the end of their life, it is expected that a new airborne command post, based on the Ilyushin Il-96-400 commercial aircraft and delivered as the so-called Doomsday plane, will replace them.[4]

Operation[edit]

Upon completion, all four Il-80s were delivered to the 8th Special Purposes Aviation Division at the Chkalovsky Airbase near Moscow.[1]

As of 2011 three Il-80s remain in service.[1] They are painted in the current livery of Aeroflot, the Russian state airline; and carry international civilian registrations RA-86147, RA-86148, and RA-86149.[1] The first Il-80, registration RA-86146, has been photographed without engines and is apparently out of service.[1] As of 2011 the Il-80s remain based at Chkalovsky Airbase, located 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Moscow.[1] The aircraft are rarely observed in operation, though at least one was seen at an air show.[1]

Operators[edit]

 Russia

Similar aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/il-87.htm
  2. ^ a b c d e Taylor, Michael J.H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999-2000, 2000. ISBN 1-85753-245-7, pg. 156.
  3. ^ Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd edition, 1999. ISBN 0-00-472212-4, pg. 154.
  4. ^ "Russian Military Gets Customized Il-96-400 'Doomsday Plane'". SputnikNews.com. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 

External links[edit]