Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
25 January 2018
Also Known As: Il-78M-2
Aviastar-SP and Ilyushin Aviaton Complex
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Description: The Ilyushin Il-76 is a medium military transport/cargo aircraft originally designed to provide support to the Soviet Army replacing the turboprop powered An-12. Dubbed Candid by NATO, has been suggested as the Soviet counterpart to the United States Air Force C-141 Starlifter cargo aircraft. The Il-76 was also developed to meet the requirements of civil cargo transport requirements. Originally, it was powered by four D-30KP turbofan engines which have been replaced in subsequent versions by the PS-90/PS-90AN fuel efficient engine. A rear ramp allows for rapid loading/off-loading of cargo, equipment and/or personnel. Many Il-76 aircraft versions have been produced for military customers (Il-76, Il-76M, Il-76MD and Il-76MF) and civil customers (Il-76TD, Il-76TD-90 and Il-76TF). The Il-78 dubbed 'Midas' is a version developed to play as a tanker aircraft (Il-78M and Il-78MK) and introduced in 1987. The Il-76 project was launched in the late 1960s and the maiden flight was carried out on March 25, 1971. Series production started in 1975. The Il-76 military transport aircraft were provided with two 23mm GSh-23L guns in the tail and require a seven-man aircrew.
The Il-78M-2 is a modernized version of the Russian Air Force Il-78M tanker aircraft powered by four PS-90A turbofan engines and new avionics. The modernization program focuses on the replacement of flight, navigation, radio communications, lighting and other equipment deemed obsolete that will be removed adding modern avionics. The new components are interchangeable with those used on the Il-78M-90A tanker. Overall the service life of the upgraded Il-78M-e will be increased from 30 to 40 years. The first aircraft was being modified at the end of 2014 with the first flight expected in 2015 and the entry into service by 2016. The major contractors for this program are the Ilyushin Aviation Complex and Aviastar-SP both part of UAC.
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