Thieves have stolen electronic equipment from a Russian military aircraft known as the “doomsday” plane, the country”s media have reported.
The Ilyushin Il-80 craft, known for its ability to survive a nuclear war, was reportedly infiltrated while undergoing maintenance at an airfield in the southern city of Taganrog last week.
Unknown thieves are said to have broken open the plane’s through cargo hatch and taken 39 pieces of radio equipment. No arrests have been announced by Russian authorities.
“The Beriev Aircraft Company reported that a cargo hatch breach was discovered during an inspection of one of the aircraft,” the Interfax news agency has reported.
Euronews has contacted Russia’s Investigative Committee and Interior Ministry for a statement on the reported theft.
The local government of the Rostov region has said an investigation was underway, Interfax report.
It is not yet clear how sensitive the radio equipment that was stolen may be, but the incident has raised questions about the security of Russian military resources.
The Il-80 is one of four secretive “Doomsday planes” in service in Russia, designed to be used as airborne command posts for Russian officials.
The aircraft, which does not have passenger windows, has previously been used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to travel with an escort of fighter jets.
A communications facility onboard the Il-80 would allow the President to marshall his forces while out of the line of fire in the event of a nuclear war.