Russian "Doomsday Plane" Spotted Flying By Finland Border

Tyler Durden's picture

The last time the Russian "Doomsday Plane" was seen in the air doing its trademark loops at 27,000 feet telegraphing Vladimir Putin was somewhere nearby, was on March 31, just days after the formerly Ukrainian region was annexed by the Kremlin. Until today, when over the past 4 hours, the Tu-214 has been quietly circling in position just shy of Finland and the Baltics, where as it is known, NATO has been depositing hundreds of western soldiers in a "defensive" build up.

What is the "Doomsday Plane"? Here is a reminder:

The Tupolev Tu-214SR is a Russian Special Mission Aircraft believed to act as a communication relay aircraft. This kind of aircraft is often dispatched by the Russian Air Force to accompany Putin’s presidential aircraft on its travels and for this reason it is considered the Russian version of the U.S. E-4B, a so-called “doomsday” plane, with an airborne command and control role.


* * *


America isn't the only superpower with a "Doomsday Plane" for its head of state. When Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to escape danger, he hops aboard this top-secret flying communications center.


A special missions variant of the Tupolev Tu-214 commercial transport aircraft, the Tu-214SR is Russia's answer to the US E-4B, an airborne command and control plane built specifically for the Russian president's use and considered successor to the Ilyushin Il-20 Coot, which has been in service for the better part of four decades. Produced by Aviastar SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association, the twin-engine, long-endurance jet can carry 62 passengers with comparable range and speed to a Boeing 757. But unlike the Boeing, the Tu-214SR is packed to the gills with cutting-edge sensor and communications equipment.


While significantly less is known about capabilities of the 214SR than the E-4B , we do know that it carries an MRC-411 multi-intelligence payload, which includes electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensors, side-looking Synthetic Aperture Radar (to spot incoming air threats from long range), and a variety of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT) equipment. Four onboard generators provide ample amperage while a set of external fuel tanks allow the plane to remain aloft for trips up to 10,000 km.


The two such 214SRs entered service in 2008 with the Presidential Special Applications Squad and are operated by a crew of four. However, the plane was only declassified last year when it made its public debut at the Moscow Air Show. Since then, it's been spotted in the skies above both the Sochi Olympics, and more recently—and ominously—in Crimea.

Why was the Doomsday Plane circling so close to the Baltics today of all days, and is this nothing but a welcome sign from Russia to the NATO build out in Eastern and Central Europe? And does it indicate that Putin was - as he usually does - either traveling in the vicinity, or is it an omen of something more ominous? 

As can be seen on the image below (courtesy of Flightradar24), after circling for hours just east of the Finland border, it is now en route to land back in St. Petersburg, from where it took off several hours ago.

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kliguy38's picture

Nahhh......unless you call Dick Cheney taking a joy ride to see if he can find another heart in some unsuspecting Baltic kid.

StacksOnStacks's picture

Probably just forgot the Vodka and couldn't decide on whether they should go all the way back for it or not.

Tao 4 the Show's picture

Or, loopy behavior suggests they remembered it, drank too much, and forgot the way back.

Tao 4 the Show's picture

On a less inebriated note, this thing is essentially a game of chicken. The best to hope for at this point is for both sides to claim a partial win so they have grounds for more posturing, ad nauseum. Else, the stakes are high for an actual confrontation.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I propose a joint venture between the US and Russia - yes we can be friends - to conquer those a-hole Canadians, once and for all.  You know they're behind this.

graneros's picture

We are still at DefCon 5 status which is the lowest.  We were at DefCon 2 for a brief time during the Cuban missle crisis 62.  You'd think we'd at least be 4 by now. If I were rating I'd say we have already entered or are at least very close to DefCon 3.

cougar_w's picture

You actually think they'll telegraph something like that in the era of Twitter?

We'll still be at DefCon 5 even as the Chinese are coming ashore in Portland.

knukles's picture

There is going to be no Draw. 
This will be ground out until Obie & Cie fail to even issue a memo.
For example.  Today it was announced by the Warthouse that the US, Germany and France are coordianting efforts to deal with Russia.

Read that again.
Where're the rest of NATO, the UK?
They're announcing coordination.
Shaking uncontrollably! 

Putin is peeing in the West's pants and laughing manically...

gmrpeabody's picture

"We'll still be at DefCon 5 even as the Chinese are coming ashore in Portland"

They're already in Portland...

Lost My Shorts's picture

Yes, I think they bought Portland last year for cash, and now they are renting it back to us.

Keyser's picture

Ah, but there is the rub... As a foreigner, try and purchase land or hold majority interest in a company located in China... 

old naughty's picture

Wait, who's in Finland, again?

Ying-Yang's picture

The End of the New World Order

"Russia’s annexation of Crimea and ongoing intimidation of Ukraine appears to mean the end of a 25-year period whose hallmark was an effort to bring Russia into greater alignment with Euro-Atlantic goals and traditions. Now the question is: What comes next?"

"In the United States, the media often point out that most Americans would be hard pressed to find Ukraine on a map. They don’t need to. But Americans do need to understand the challenge they are facing from a Russia that no longer seems interested in what the West has been offering for the last 25 years: special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors. All of these seem to be off the table for now."

old naughty's picture

Thanks for the good link, YY.

Not sure about "the end of NWO" tho.

mjcOH1's picture

"Why was the Doomsday Plane circling so close to the Baltics today of all days, and is this nothing but a welcome sign from Russia to the NATO build out in Eastern and Central Europe?"


Because it's shiny and new, and the US likes to look at it.   It's like dangling a feather in front of your cat when you want its attention.

i-dog's picture

Cute ... The US E4-B is called "the eye in the sky" ... while the exact Russian equivalent is called "the doomsday plane".

Hmmm ... I think I'm getting the hang of this opinion-shaping propaganda routine. Nice one, Tyler.

Drifter's picture

Putin: "Fuck NATO, fuck those EU pussies, we have that privileged relationship with Europe, it's called "natural gas", and 'partnership in international diplomatic endeavors' is just more US bullshit. Shut the fuck up and pay that gas bill or your "NATO allies" will freeze this winter and their industries will run out of gas way before then."

WordSmith2013's picture

US-Directed Regime Change In The Ukraine Guaranteed To Provoke Russian Fury

! ! !

Dixie Rect's picture

Wait, more importantly, did Obama like his green tea ice cream?

old naughty's picture

don't think so...he "allowed" Bieb to go visit the shrine.

mccvilb's picture

Holy crap! I'll never fly again!

ptolemy_newit's picture

buy land NO!

rent land for 75 years yes

own a business EASY.

thailand is different.

BLOTTO's picture

'They' are just starting early celebrations for 'Labour Day' aka 'May Day' aka 'Beltane Day' on the Pagan Calendar...

May 1st - exactly 6 months from All Hallow's Eve.



Kirk2NCC1701's picture

As are the Vietnamese. Part of the 'benefit' for bombing and torching the hell out of their country.

IndyPat's picture

I thought lesbos took over Portland ....

graneros's picture

Twitter FB or the internet has nothing to do with it.  DefCon is simply a gauge.  It is not a secret of any kind. We were at DefCon 4 last year over the Norks. By remaing at 5 the government is telling us that they are in no way concerned about the threat of nuclear war. I say the threat of nuclear war has certainly been ratcheted up by this Ukrainian "crisis." It doesn't matter what side you think is right, wrong, or anything in between.  The fact of the matter is events are in motion that takes the world a step closer to nuclear war and our own governmental gauge tells us that nothing has changed. When in fact it has.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

They aren't going to tell us we are at anything below Defcon 4 you can be sure of that.  Remember?  We lie when things get bad.  There will be the Shadow Defcon which might be at Defcon 1, but you won't know TSHTF until the nukes are on their way.  They will probably shut the internet down before they get launched anyway, thats when you can start worrying.  But for them to actually ratchet it down like they did in Cuba and publicly tell us, its not going to happen.

When your cellphone won't work, the internet is down, and your GPS stops working, you should bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.  You have less than 30 minutes probably.

The Blank Stare's picture

Then Fukushima should have put us at Defcon 4 for the next 100 years. Or is pushing a button the only requirement needed for it to be raised.

increase volume for effect

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Greetings Professor Falken. Would you like to play a game?

Spumoni's picture

Safest cypher around - ten people are left on the outside who can still decipher Morse Code.

General Decline's picture

There's no fighting in here! This is the war room!

Warhead's picture

Up-arrow for Dr. Strangelove reference. As is the custom of my people.

Flagit's picture

so last night, on recommendation from a few threads ago, i watched "Paths Of Glory".

its ironic, that men that were slated to die, willingly, would become soo fearful of being shot to death.

mkkby's picture

Shut up and drink your pure grain alcohol.

redpill's picture

Disagree, this is all just penis waving.  Russia knows damn well NATO isn't going to do shit, they are just mocking the west.

vie's picture

Or are we not worried because it's all just for show, while NATO and Russia divy up Ukraine.  

Bindar Dundat's picture

Last time you messed with us we burnt down the Whitehouse in 1812.



McMolotov's picture

You're more than welcome to do it again.

IndyPat's picture

And we will throw in Detroit, to boot!

El Crusty's picture

why bother? detroit has been mostly burned down and destroyed already..

Balanced Integer's picture

As long as Obama and his minions (and/or overlords, depending on your POV) are somewhere deep in the heart of the inferno, these proposals have my hearty endorsement.

Ferrari's picture

Would you mind doing us a favor and repeating that feat?

Papasmurf's picture

They have installed sprinkler systems since then.