A little more two miles from the Red Square in Moscow, sitting atop a maze of underground concrete tunnels, is the heavily fortified National Control Defense Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense. It's more than just the nerve center for Russia's military operations, but President Vladimir Putin's brand-new multi-billion dollar war room — and it looks like a Bond villain's lair come to life.
The three-tiered war room, completed in 2014, is decked out in movie theater sized screens, where live broadcasts of defense bombers flying sorties over Syria are streamed live of intelligence analysts and military officials. The command center also has a helicopter pad for Russia’s Mi-8 transport helicopter. The building is designed to be the primary hub Russian military, coordinating military action around the world, and would be Russia’s main communications center in case of war.
The command center is part of a huge decade-long modernization of Russia’s army, and cost hundreds of billions to complete, the Washington Postreports. And the timing couldn't have been better: As a state-of-the-art military facility, it was Putin's first stop when terrorists downed a Russian jetliner in the Sinai peninsula earlier this month.
The building is basically the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Military Command Center used by the Pentagon, but one Russian state-run news agency asserted (obviously) they don't even compare. “Our [data centers'] calculating capacity exceeds the Pentagon system’s capacity threefold, and the data storage volume is 19 times higher,” Russian Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said.
With Russia seeking a central role in the anti-terrorist coalition gradually forming in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, Russian commanders in Syria were instructed by Putin to “make contact with the French and work with them as allies," which means we'll likely see a bit more of this war room in action.
Until then, this clip from Goldeneye will likely hold you over:
Photos by Alexei Nikolsky / Landov