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Vladimir Putin’s iconic plane ransacked by thieves

 Vladimir Putin’s 'Doomsday' plane has been infiltrated and robbed, reports in Moscow say [Photo: en.wikipedia.org]

Vladimir Putin’s iconic “Doomsday” plane has reportedly been infiltrated and robbed. In a major security breach, the aircraft designed for the Russian leader to use in a nuclear war was targeted by unidentified thieves. Some 39 pieces of radio equipment were stolen after a cargo hatch was opened.

Read Also: PHOTOS - Inside Vladimir Putin's Sh5 billion plane with golden toilet, gym

The equipment contained precious metals gold and platinum which is seen as a possible motive for the theft. The embarrassing heist came when the Ilyushin Il-80 Maxdome was undergoing a refit in Russian city Taganrog, on the Sea of Azov. A Russian transport police source was quoted by Interfax as saying: “Beriev Aircraft Company reported that a cargo hatch breach was discovered during an inspection of one of the aircraft.”

 Vladimir Putin [Photo: Courtesy]

Police have found finger and shoe prints at the scene, it was reported. The windowless Il-80 is one of four so-called Doomsday planes designed to act as a Kremlin in the sky in the event of a nuclear attack.

Read Also: Vladimir Putin's spy identity card discovered in Germany

Putin would be able to rule Russia and issue commands to his military from the airborne command post. This includes the ability to order a nuclear strike. The US equivalent is the Boeing E-4B planes based on the 747 airliners. Russia had earlier announced it was replacing the Il-80 with a plane based on the upgraded Il-96-400M wide-body airliner. Despite this, a refit was underway of the Il-80. Russian has previously showcased the aircraft at Red Square military displays.

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