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'Bid to kill Putin' | Will Putin Operate From Il-96-300PU After Assassination Bid? Russia Prez's 'Air Force One'

Due to safety concerns for Vladimir Putin at these times, the Kremlin uses Ilyushin Il-96-300PU for transporting the President from one place to another.

Russia Ukraine Crisis
| Written By
Piyush Gupta
Vladimir Putin

Image: Associated Press

Ukraine reportedly made an effort to strike the Kremlin at night. It happened at around three in the morning. Two drones were reportedly aimed in the direction of Vladimir Putin's residence. The Russian president was unharmed, according to the Kremlin as it has stated that the Russian President was out of the capital when the incident happened. 

Due to safety concerns for Vladimir Putin at these times, the Kremlin uses Ilyushin Il-96-300PU for transporting the President from one place to another. The PU in the name of the aircraft signifies VIP or Presidential plane. According to reports, significant modifications have been made to the jet for the President to be able to work, communicate, and be secure while aboard the aircraft. Although specifics are closely guarded, reports indicate that there may be escape pods and even air defence systems on board.

Putin’s Presidential Ilyushin Il-96-300PU

Putin's £390 million "Flying Kremlin" plane eclipses Air Force One with its presidential bar, gold-plated toilet, luxurious en-suite bedroom among other luxuries. 

Powered by four Russian-made Aviadvigatel (Soloviev) PS-90A engines, the Russian presidential aircraft is a significantly modified Ilyushin Il-96-300 that was built in Russia. Eight of these aircraft are in the unique PU form, which was created for VIP transport, while 19 of these aircraft have been employed for passenger operations by airlines including Aeroflot and Cubana.

Four Il-96-300PU aircraft, flown by Rossiya Airlines, are used in Russia for presidential transportation. Boris Yeltsin travelled on the Il-96 before Putin, and five different aircraft have served in this capacity throughout the years, but only four are now in service. 

The luxurious jet is furnished with exotic furniture consisting of a lavish bedroom, conference room and many other facilities for Putin and his visitors. Luxurious white leather, walnut veneers, and gold trimmings are used to decorate the interiors of the aircraft. The inside is decorated in a neoclassical style that is more analogous to a high-end hotel than a plane, and several walls and headrests have the Presidential Standard coat of arms of Russia.

The president has a private bedroom with a king-size bed where he sleeps. He and his visitors may sit comfortably on spacious white leather seats around an enormous meeting table to do business.

According to reports, at least two are used on every presidential journey, with one carrying the president and the other serving as a ruse and carrying members of Vladimir Putin's entourage. All four planes are reportedly fully fueled and are ready to take off when Putin is ready to depart, at which time he reportedly chooses one at random.

Planes used by other heads of state

There are numerous heads of state that have their own executive transport, some of which are more well-known than others. While everyone is aware of the modified Boeing 747 VC-25 that frequently serves as the US president's Air Force One.

According to the White House’s official website, today's American presidents can travel in a variety of ways, including flying on Air Force One. Technically, "Air Force One" refers to any Air Force aircraft that is transporting the President, but it is now common use to refer to certain aircraft that are outfitted to carry the Commander-in-Chief. The two heavily customised Boeing 747-200B series aeroplanes that go by this moniker today have tail numbers 28000 and 29000. The aircraft is referred to by the Air Force as VC-25A.

The presidential aircraft of Germany are now outdated A340s, but newer A350s will shortly replace them. The A330 MRTT Air Force aircraft that the British prime minister flies was given a patriotic makeover two years ago. 

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