Articles, Blog

Inside The Military’s $223 Million ‘Doomsday Plane’

September 13, 2019

If there ever were a nuclear war and all US military ground
communication was destroyed, this $223 million plane would become the command
and control center for the US military’s
most senior officials. This is the E-4B “Nightwatch.” It’s basically a flying war room designed to withstand a nuclear blast. Ryan Pickrell: I like to think
of the E-4B as kind of like a flying backup Pentagon. Potentially more secure than the Pentagon. If you’re seeing it at
its maximum capability, which hopefully we never do, yeah, you’re looking at
an apocalyptic scenario, which is why it’s affectionately known as the “doomsday plane.” Narrator: Four E-4Bs make up the National Airborne Operations Center. And the US Air Force is responsible for the operation of all four of them out of Offutt Air Force
Base near Omaha, Nebraska. The retrofitted Boeing
747s were made for war. Originally designed in
1973, the E-4 series planes were thought to be the best way a president during the Cold War might survive a nuclear explosion. And since their inception,
one of the doomsday planes has stood on alert 24/7. Edward Garcia: Because
we’re a 24/7 ops mission, we are not a non-deployable
unit due to our proximity to the president and all
other key assets at one time. But, day to day, it is highly important because we can assume the role
of a primary command center, much like the Pentagon is,
much like strat-com can be. We can assume that role
in the air as well. Narrator: In the immediate
aftermath of a nuclear blast, the president, the secretary of defense, and the joint chiefs of staff would all be safe aboard the E-4B. From there, they could
order nuclear strikes or execute emergency war orders. And while the majority of
the E-4B’s capabilities are classified, we do know a few things. The plane has three
decks and can hold a crew of up to 112 people. With four massive
engines, the E-4B can fly for 12 hours straight without refueling, though with aerial refueling capabilities it could theoretically
fly for several days. It costs nearly $160,000
per hour to fly the E-4B, making it the most expensive airplane the Air Force operates. And it’s built to survive a nuclear blast. To prevent radiation, the
windows have a wired mesh, similar to what you’d see on
the window of a microwave. Equipment and wiring on board are hardened to survive an electromagnetic pulse. There’s also thermal and nuclear shielding and direct-fire countermeasures. Aboard the plane, space is broken down to optimize war coordination. At the front of the plane, executive quarters house the
senior military officials. The upper rest has 18 bunks available for the Air Force crew. They work 24-hour, seven-day
shifts and sleep on board. Beneath that is the
secure conference room, where the joint chiefs, president, and secretary of defense
can give war orders. The briefing room is where officials can update the traveling
press, or battle staff, on strategy and coordination efforts. In the center of the plane, officers from every branch of the military will hammer out a strategy
in the event of a crisis. This base is known as
the battle-staff room. And all outside communication happens at the back of the aircraft from the communication and
technical control room. From here, operators can communicate with virtually anyone in the world, in any situation. Scott McCandless: It’s designed that, in the most austere environments, during or after a nuclear war, it survives and can communicate, from the most cutting-edge
communications technology to old, antiquated
communications technology. We have the ability to
endure and communicate with fielded forces and the
rest of the US government. Narrator: That bubble on top of the E-4B is where all the communication
technology is held. It’s called the “ray
dome,” and an estimated 67 satellite dishes and
antennas are kept here. The E-4B has more
communication capabilities than Air Force One. There’s even a 5-mile-long
“tail” that can be extended behind the plane to
allow for communication with submarines that are underwater. But even with all the
fancy communication tech, you’d be surprised at how old-school the rest of the technology on board is. There’s no digital, and
there’s no touch screens. Everything is analog.
And that’s on purpose. That vintage vibe continues
throughout the airplane. Pickrell: The E-4B doesn’t
really have windows, and it’s actually really
drab on the inside. You’re looking at kind of a beige color that looks like it came straight
out of the 1970s or ’80s, which it did. Narrator: The doomsday
plane’s utilitarian nature is completely intentional to keep
the focus on the job at hand: preparing for the worst. But hopefully we’ll never have to see the doomsday plane at its full capacity. During peacetime, the E-4B’s
main job is to transport the secretary of defense on foreign trips, and one always follows the
president in Air Force One on overseas visits. Garcia: The mission is very
tedious, it is, no kidding, one of the most arduous things
that you could possibly do, but it’s so rewarding in the sense of, every day you know that
you’re doing something or you’re preparing for the worst.


  • Reply Patrick Aspern September 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm


  • Reply Patrick Aspern September 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    See you in the recommendation in 7 years😉

  • Reply Fad Vortex September 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Hopefully this plane wouldn't get hijack by terrorist.

  • Reply Waylon Gamer September 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I'm here, dunno why.

  • Reply Theany Pheng September 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm


  • Reply Adam Frayne September 12, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    If they telling us all this I wonder what they aren't telling us.

  • Reply Steven Shockley September 12, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I lowkey hope it'd fail. The corrupt government should not be the only ones allowed to survive. They'd only do it to try dictating whatever's left of the world.

  • Reply tim huynh September 12, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Trump 2020

  • Reply Gary Billington September 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm


  • Reply Crafter Blox September 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    8th comment in my screen XD

  • Reply A dd September 12, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Nuclear weapons shouldn’t exist , why would fuckers work on weapons that can destroy all human beings, whats the fkin point of destroying everything

  • Reply Liam Walsh September 12, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    This plane is unnecessary. it likely won’t be used for it’s true purpose.

  • Reply Liam Walsh September 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    4:20 even in a nuclear war. They have a cake onboard the plane.

  • Reply ohio stin September 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    U. S. Military is flying scout planes over south Ohio, because of Bob Muhnob.

  • Reply Charles Vicencio September 12, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I’d rather die and meet my creator when IT happened

  • Reply Benjamin VHLMang September 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Also useful for zombies

  • Reply c c September 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    ….9/11 Psyop Staged by the United Terrorist Snakes ( War Criminal)& the World Elite

  • Reply patat September 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm


  • Reply M2Motors Co September 12, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Sure, spend all our money on a plane you can hop in after you get us all killed. Awesome.

  • Reply Ropsana Khanom September 12, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    There’s probably an even more impressive deadly back up plane to this one if they’re revealing the e4b

  • Reply Chi chan September 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Their first flight was in 1973, they stopped making them until 1974, it might be old but it's still one of the best planes out there.

  • Reply Cj Treasure September 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    so what about us? lmaooooo

  • Reply Cj Treasure September 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    so what about us? lmaooooo

  • Reply A Rot September 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    America's Doomday is no longer about Russia but China.

  • Reply Dusty Rabbit September 12, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    E-4b naoc

  • Reply texaschizophrenic September 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    What a ducking waste of my tax dollars.

  • Reply Arthur Lee September 12, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    If all of US Military ground communication is down, then who do the people in this plane talk to?

  • Reply i Naqvi September 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Where is doomsday city?

  • Reply Haroon Khan September 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    They are missing ON FOOD THEY GONNA DIE

  • Reply Primary September 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Where can I buy one of those ?? It might come handy one day….

  • Reply James Dooling September 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Doomsday won't be nuclear… Hope you've got a plane to save you from starvation.

  • Reply Yahya Nakhuda September 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    What about the comman people
    They never wish for war, it is only due to this leader

  • Reply Yahya Nakhuda September 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    They should spend money in increasing saftey of people
    Afterall money is of people

  • Reply Kevin Schmidt September 12, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    USA: we can't afford the very real problem of healthcare for all people.
    Also USA: here's $300,000,000 pll for a .000000000000000000001% chance where nothing will be left anyway

  • Reply Ketchup Lover September 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    USA: we are ready for nuclear blast
    Also USA: save the 'reason of nuclear blast'

  • Reply Francisco GM September 12, 2019 at 4:09 pm


  • Reply Vector Vision September 12, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    send it to afghanistan and it won't last a day 😂

  • Reply Jayakrishna Balaji September 12, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Another fancy toy from the U.S.

  • Reply Monse Her September 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    3 people would go in this plain?? But can hold 112? People hmmmm shady… We doomed

  • Reply Savannah Spanish September 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Why does the government feel that they need to share this through a video?

  • Reply boom suga September 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Murcians built and designed this plane because they know the world is coming to get them. Apocalyptic is reality.

  • Reply Draculapin September 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    why don't other country have the same type of planes ? think about that for a second

  • Reply Umang Patel September 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    hello to future me..who came back here by youtube recommendations…

  • Reply Sayyed Apacanis IV September 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    North Korea begins to take out pencil and take notes

  • Reply SUI September 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Can it survive a nuclear blast head on, or did they mean a blast from a distance?

  • Reply Kunal Mahajan September 12, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Where's the toilet?

  • Reply TheChaos2711 September 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm


  • Reply Sjors dW September 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Another great way to piss away tax payers money. Good for resale though… Never used! Really!

  • Reply Rainbow warrior September 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    going to reach more than a MILLION views

  • Reply Imstupid 000111 September 12, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    firstly, when the all ground communication is down who the hell you are gonna talk to? Secondly, only 112 people can get on the plane which is going to be officials, so whats the safety major for public in nuclear blast? built from people money to leave people helpless in nuclear blast. LMAO

  • Reply Blaster Danny September 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    😂you think someone can’t take that shit down. Funny 😂.

  • Reply Alec G September 12, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    What’s the point if they bomb Washington but the planes are in Omaha?

  • Reply x d September 12, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I couldn’t imagine living through the Cold War and a threat of nuclear war.

  • Reply Annabelle Thewitch September 12, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    If this plane is on surely is outdated.

  • Reply wise1 September 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    They should spend that money on Obama phones, debt free college, pay for doing nothing, reparations, and free health care. Signed, average democrat🍭

  • Reply MrWarThunder 1 September 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    How long can this plane fly for

  • Reply Marc’s Fx September 12, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    If it was only down to the countries’s leaders who fought the war, the rest of us could enjoy all that money. 😊

  • Reply Vidal Sanchez September 12, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Damn I know we're running out of money but who went cheap on president's plane😁😂🤣

  • Reply OOF September 12, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    So dis is where the tax money is going.

  • Reply PhotoDJ September 12, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    thank god it’s not vox they’d just criticize it and blame it on something else

  • Reply HSCMACE September 12, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    What a waste of money lol

  • Reply Shilendra Ramnarine September 12, 2019 at 10:31 pm


  • Reply Ivonne Dominguez September 12, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Where the spend millions videos at I miss them 🙁

  • Reply Victor Espiritu September 12, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Waste of money

  • Reply Chris Gregg September 13, 2019 at 12:07 am

    So that’s where my taxes goes.

  • Reply Curtis Forrest September 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

    Cough: Waste of money

  • Reply R P September 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I don't think that's the blueprint of the E4B. They would need a restroom, kitchen, food, water and all you see is technology & bunks for them to rest.

  • Reply Investing Education September 13, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Nice share

  • Reply Leo September 13, 2019 at 12:27 am

    So that’s where all the taxes go to

  • Reply Jazz Fall September 13, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Can it survive 100 homing missiles?

  • Reply June Galaxy September 13, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Np toilet???

  • Reply Kathleen McCormick September 13, 2019 at 3:28 am

    Yup. We all die and they fly around plotting revenge.

  • Reply You Said What? Nani? September 13, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Ahh……so I know where the fundings for poor schools actually went….

  • Reply Alicia Alatorre September 13, 2019 at 6:53 am

    It's all fine and dandy if the US enemies would go straight to sending nuclear weapons, this plane would save the Chiefs of Staff and Government Leaders. However, things are never that neat and tidy, especially when it comes to war! The first thing sent our way would be EMP'S, because we are so dependent on technology! We would be rendered helpless with electromagnetic pulses and arriving in waves. Hitting all major Military installations, bases where missiles are kept, NASA, the Training and teaching facilities, our satellite systems and for the regular Joe's of this nation, we would then get hit with the lab-
    created biological poison bombs next and then the clincher, the nukes to wipe us out. So, get real! Get us protection from EMP's, and biological poisons first, then celebrate the planes that can't be harmed by nukes!

  • Reply hazael222 September 13, 2019 at 7:41 am

    The division 2 : im about to destroy this man whole career

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