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Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1987
Maiden Flight: 26 June 1983
Total Production: ?
Also Known As: Il-78, Il-78M, Il-78MK-90 and Midas
Origin: Russia
Corporations: Ilyushin Aviaton Complex
Parent System: Il-76
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1975
Maiden Flight: 25 March 1971
Total Production: 964
Family Members: Il-476, Il-76MD-M, Il-76MF, Il-76TF and Il-78M-90A
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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.

In 1987 the Soviet Union's Air Force introduced the first Il-78, NATO dubbed 'Midas', air-to-air refueling aircraft based on the Il-76MD military transport aircraft. The Il-78 features two internal fuel tanks that can removed reverting the tanker to the freighter role. The Il-78M is an improved version equipped with three permanent fuel tanks and aimed at refueling three aircraft using three hose drum units. Two hose drum units are located under each wing and the other one on the rear starboard fuselage. The Il-78MK was build on the Il-78M. The Il-78MK tanker can provide in-flight refueling of up to three different aircraft in adverse visibility conditions or at night. On the ground it is capable of refueling up to four aircraft. The Il-78MK can be re-configured to provide transport of cargoes, personnel and/or equipment. The Il-78MK is powered by four D-30KP turbofan engines.

The IL-78MK-90 is a further version powered by more powerful PS-90A-76 turbofans, each rated at 35,000-lb, providing a maximum combined thrust of 140,000-lb at takeoff. The Il-78MK-90 adds two tons to the payload up to 50 tons and increases the cruise speed from 750 kph to 850 kph compared with the D-30KP powered Il-78MK. The landing run distance is shortened by 40 meters and can take off in 1,550 meters compared to 2,200 meters for the same aircraft powered by D-30KP engines.

Il-78MK Specifications

Crew: 6
Number of Engines: 4
Wing Area: 300 square meter (3,229 square foot)
Fuselage Diameter: 4.80 meter
Height: 14.8 meter (48 foot)
Length: 47 meter (153 foot)
Wingspan: 51 meter (166 foot)
Landing Run Distance: 1,000 meter
Take Off Run Distance: 2,200 meter
Cruise Speed: 750 kph (466 mph)
Flight Speed during Refueling: 440 kph
Refueling Tanks Capacity: 45,928 liter
Max Takeoff Thrust: 105,000 pound (47,628 kilogram)
Max Takeoff Weight: 210 ton (462,963 pound)
Payload: 48 ton (105,820 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

Il-78MK News

There are 10 news between
5 Aug 2009 and 25 Feb 2020
Tuesday, February 25, 2020China Developing Y-20 Aircraft Tanker and AEW Variants
Tuesday, November 27, 2018China Developing New Tanker Aircraft based upon Y-20 Airlifter
Tuesday, September 4, 2018Indian Air Force LCA Conducts Mid Air Refueling with Il-78 MKI Tanker
Monday, January 16, 2017Russia Developing Il-96-400TZ Multirole Tanker Transport Aircraft
Thursday, March 24, 2016First Il-78M-90A Aerial Refueling Tanker to Start Flight Tests in 2016
Monday, August 3, 2015Mig-31BM Interceptors Fly More than 4,000 Kilometers in Six Hours
Tuesday, August 21, 2012Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA Completes First Contact with Il-78 Tanker
Thursday, June 10, 2010Two Russian Tu-160 Strategic Bombers Complete 23-Hour, 18,000 Km Flight
Wednesday, August 19, 2009Tupolev to Develop Russian Air Force PAK DA Strategic Bomber
Wednesday, August 5, 2009Russian Air Force Outlines Future Force Structure by 2020-2025

Operators & Related Equipment

China has ordered 34 Il-76 transports and 8 Il-78M tanker aircraft from Russia with deliveries due between 2006 and 2011.
Ex-Russian Il-78 tankers to provide air refueling to Su-30MKI aircraft
201423Il-78 and Il-78M
Feb 201319
Potential purchase released in September 2008

Grand Total 166
Propulsion Systems
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