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Sierra Nevada awarded $13B Doo...


Sierra Nevada awarded $13B Doomsday plane contract by US Air Force

Sierra Nevada 13B Doomsday plane contract
The Silicon Review
27 April, 2024

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $13 billion contract to Sierra Nevada Corp. to develop a successor to the E-4B, known as the Doomsday plane, due to its ability to survive a nuclear war.

An Air Force official says the goal of the SAOC project is to replace old aircraft from the 1970s that are nearing the end of their usefulness. The Air Force said that the SAOC project will be carried out in Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio, and is expected to be completed in 2036. The weapon system will be a commercial version upgraded and strengthened to meet military specifications for operational needs.

In December, Reuters revealed that the U.S. Air Force had disqualified Boeing from the competition to create an E-4B Nightwatch replacement.

The E-4B is designed to be a mobile command center that can survive nuclear blasts and electromagnetic effects, although it is typically used to transport the US Secretary of Defense. This feature enables US officials to provide commands to the military in the case of a national emergency. The E-4B has conference and briefing rooms, cutting-edge communications systems, and the ability to refuel in midair. Four E-4B aircraft are now in service with the Air Force, and at least one of them is always on alert. Maintaining the fleet of modified Boeing 747-200 jumbo jets is becoming increasingly expensive as the parts become obsolete.

The E-4B's service life is expected to end in the early 2030s.