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Putin's 'Doomsday Plane'

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Putin's 'Doomsday Plane'

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Reuters
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Vladimir Putin travelled to Syria this week with an escort of Russian fighter jets.

Of course, the plan he flew on was no ordinary aircraft.

The Tupolev Tu-214SR https://sputniknews.com/infographics/201503111017070125/ is a modified version of a civilian aircraft that can carry just over 200 passengers in standard class.

However, the presidential version has a number of modifications including a press room and seating for bodyguards behind the cockpit.

It's most important feature is its communications facilities, however, which allow the president to run the country from the air. For this reason, it is nicknamed the "Doomsday plane" because in the event of a nuclear war it would allow the Russian leader to marshall his forces while out of the line of fire.

A standard TU214 costs around €24 million but the Kremlin paid around €130 million for three modified versions between 2009 and 2012.

The president spends hundreds of hours in the air each year and enjoys a fleet of more than 10 aircraft at his disposal.