Radio equipment from Russia's Doomsday plane stolen in broad daylight

The Investigation Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the city of Taganrog has filed a criminal case into the theft of equipment from the command post of the Ilyushin Il-80 aircraft, otherwise known as the "doomsday aircraft." The damage caused was evaluated at more than one million rubles, the website of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Rostov Region said.

Representatives of the Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex (TANTK) named after Beriev reported that during the inspection of the Il-80, which was being repaired at Taganrog-Yuzhny airfield, it turned out that the cargo hatch of the aircraft was opened. Thirty-nine radio station blocks and five mother boards from five similar dismantled blocks went missing from the compartments of the aircraft.

According to law enforcement agencies, specialists of the plant were changing the lubricant on the shock absorbers of the landing gear of the airplane. All onboard equipment had been in place by the time when the works were completed.

It was reported that in 2020, TANTK spent as much as 24 million rubles on the security of the airfield. The contractor undertook to arrange five stationary and three mobile round-the-clock security posts on the territory of the airfield to ensure that security guards would monitor the aircraft on the airfield, patrol the territory and prevent any type of theft of the property of the complex. At the same time, the published documentation contained detailed plans of the airport and locations of all security posts, checkpoints, rapid response teams and even surveillance cameras.

Dmitry Peskov, an official spokesman for the Russian President, stated, when commenting on the incident that "conclusions will be drawn." "Of course, an investigation will be conducted, and measures will be taken so that this does not happen again," he said.

According to specialists, it is impossible to open the cargo hatch of the Il-80 just like that. In order to perform this operation, one needs to power up the aircraft, get into the cockpit and find appropriate switches on the flight engineer's console. In addition, it takes up to six hours for the operation to remove radio station blocks. It also appears strange why such an important aircraft had to be taken to Taganrog for such a routine procedure - any other nearest service base would do instead. To crown it all, special-purpose aircraft usually arrive to have such technical procedures performed without secret equipment on board.