The very thought of World War III often conjures up horrific visions. Typically, this includes images of mass casualties, nuclear war, the end of humanity as we know it, or even the complete destruction of our planet. Because these notions are less than cheery, the majority of people just prefer not to dwell on the concept and move on.
Unfortunately, for those who work within the government and military, they do not have the same luxury as the rest of us. Instead, they are tasked with preparing for the unthinkable and ensuring that our country is ready to act in the event of such a catastrophe. Because these preparations may literally mean the difference between life and death on a national scale, much of the details are kept under wraps from the public.
Obviously, if the public knows, our enemies know. Despite this, there are a few juicy tidbits that the government has been willing to share with all of us regarding their plan to protect us all from imminent doom. Specifically, we are here today to discuss the Boeing E-6B Mercury (AKA: The Doomsday Plane) and how it plays a role in keeping the “Free World” safe from adversaries.
Let’s get into how the Doomsday Plane will either save (or end) the world as we know it.
They Are There To Help The President Communicate In Times Of Disaster
Officially known as National Airborne Operations Centers (NAOC), the E-6B Mercury was deployed in 1998 and continues to serve to this very day. The plane is based on Boeing‘s passenger jet model 707-320 and has been retrofitted to serve the military. The purpose of this plane is to allow the president and military officials to communicate in times of crisis; specifically, in times of nuclear war.
Today, there are 4 of these aerial command centers that fly all over the country 24/7. This allows for each plane to be in close enough proximity to one another; thus, creating a connected communication network. In layman’s terms, each plane serves as a roving “cell phone tower” to connect to both one another and people on the ground.
Each one of these planes has multiple advisors and officials who are there for the sole purpose of assisting the president with wartime decisions. The hope is that by being able to connect with US officials anywhere on the planet, informed and insightful decisions can be made. After all, the last thing you want during a nuclear conflict is the president making ill-informed decisions with atomic bombs.
Other Aspects Of The E-6B
While each plane does cost the Department of Defense about $223,000,000, they do boast some pretty impressive numbers. For starters, the plane’s wingspan is 142 ft, and the plane itself is 152 ft long. When filled to capacity, the E-6B weighs around 342,000 lbs. Despite all of this weight, the Boeing can still reach the speed of up to 610 MPH and has a range of up to 6,600 nautical miles.
Because these planes are so important to national security, they must be able to defend themselves from being shot down. To accomplish this, the E-6B employs shielding that can supposedly protect it from a nuclear blast and an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Inside, you’ll find computers, equipment, and flight instruments, that are considered to be extremely difficult to hack into.
So, What Would The President Actually Do If Atomic Bombs Started Flying?
To explain what would happen, we’ll use the hypothetical scenario provided by the Infographics Show. So, if a nuclear bomb or EMP was detonated within (or over) the United States, it would likely destroy power grids and communication infrastructure all over the country (even in space!). When this happens, the Nuclear Detonation Detection System (NDDS) would alert the president and officials via outdated equipment that is not affected by such detonations.
At this time, any E-6Bs not in flight would immediately take off and resume flight over the entire country. The president would immediately begin coordinating with the officials on the plane to initiate retaliatory measures. From here, it is likely that the president will order the military to launch their own nuclear missiles.
In the unfortunate event that the White House is struck during the initial strike, the E-6B’s mission still will not change. Each plane carries a general of the armed forces within it. If the president is incapacitated or worse, one of these individuals will assume control over the entire US military.
Thankfully, this is just a hypothetical scenario, and we all know that the government probably wouldn’t tell the public their battle plan anyways. Therefore, there is probably much more to this than meets the eye. One thing we do know is that the Boeing E-6B will definitely play a crucial role in defense of our nation, should a nuclear war arise.
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