A break-in at an airborne nuclear command center in Russia, nicknamed the “doomsday plane”, is being investigated by police, CNN reported.
The aircraft is designed to carry high ranking officials, including President Vladimir Putin, in the case of a nuclear attack. The break-in was uncovered during an aircraft inspection at Beriev Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex, officials said Monday, according to CNN. A cargo hatch appeared to have been opened and 39 pieces of radio equipment were found to be missing from the aircraft upon its inspection.
The burglary occurred following Putin putting a large number of funds into overhauling the Russian military during tensions with the West, which are at their highest since the end of the Cold War, according to Reuters.
Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said the incident was an “emergency situation” in a conference call with journalists, according to CNN. (RELATED: Meth And Cocaine Seized From Unmanned Aircraft Illegally Flying Into California, CBP Says)
“Of course, there will be an investigation, and measures will be taken so that this does not happen again,” Peskov said.
Security has since been increased at the nuclear command center, according to CNN.
Thieves target Russia’s nuclear war ‘doomsday’ plane https://t.co/EmrT473Sac
— The Guardian (@guardian) December 8, 2020
Prior to the break-in, the airplane had routine maintenance done to its landing gear and all equipment was present during that time, Tass reported, according to CNN. At this time, there is no suspect of the Ilyushin Il-80 break-in. However, Ren-TV, a Russian television station, reported that police had discovered shoe prints and fingerprints on the airplane, according to The Guardian.
Police said the plane had been located at an aerodrome in the city of Taganrog and that the estimated value of the stolen equipment was worth more than $13,000, according to Reuters. Russian military experts speculated that The items might have been stolen because of the precious metals that some of the units had been assembled by using, according to Russian military experts.
The aircraft contains no windows outside of the necessary cockpit windshield so passengers will not be blinded by nuclear explosions, state news agency RIA Novosti said. An outlet cable antenna intended to be used for communicating with submarines is located at the back of the aircraft.
Security measures would be taken to prevent theft of this kind from occurring again, the Kremlin reported, according to Reuters.