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Boeing E-4B

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Boeing E-4
Role Airborne command post
Crew Up to 114
Length231 ft 4 in70.5 m
Wingspan195 ft 8 in59.7 m
Height63 ft 5 in19.3 m
Wing area5,500 sq ft511 m²
Empty410,000 lb186 tonnes
Loaded820,000 lb372,000 kg
Engines Four General Electric CF6–50E2 turbofans
Thrust52,500 lbf each234 kN each
Maximum speed602 mph969 km/h
Ferry range7,100 mi11,426 km
Service ceiling45,000 ft13,700 m
Rate of climb  

The E-4B, also known as NAOC (National Airborne Operations Center), is a Boeing 747 aircraft refitted to serve as a command post for the United States armed forces during a nuclear war. For this reason, E-4Bs are sometimes referred as "the doomsday planes." Four are currently operated by the United States Air Force, and are assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Maintenance and crews are provided by Air Combat Command, while operations are coordinated by Strategic Command.

The NAOC fleet was originally deployed in 1974, when it was known as NEACP (National Emergency Airborne Command Post). It was originally stationed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, alongside Air Force One, so that the President and Secretary of Defense could access it quickly in the event of an emergency. Later, the aircraft were moved to the Midwest, where they would be safer from attack but still accessible by helicopter. One E-4B is kept on full alert at all times, and one remains relatively close to Air Force One so that the President can access it quickly from anywhere in the world.

In 1994, NEACP's name was changed to NAOC, and it took on a new responsibility: ferrying Federal Emergency Management Agency crews to natural disaster sites and serving as a temporary command post on the ground until facilities could be built on site.

The E-4B, which replaced the older E-4A in 1980, is specially modified to weather nuclear warfare conditions. Its computers and communications systems are shielded from electromagnetic pulse, and its air conditioning system is specially modified to block radiation.

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