10 Jul 2012 13:33

Russian Air Force to receive new Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax-AVN) - The Russian Air Force will receive over 40 new Ilyushin Il-76-MD-90A aircraft before 2020, Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

"Over 40 new Il-76-MD-90A aircraft will be delivered to the Air Force before 2020," Drik said.

The aircraft will be used as a platform for an advanced aerial refueling tanker and the new A-100 airborne early warning and control (AEWC) system, he said.

The Il-76-MD-90A is different from the Il-76MD currently in service in that it has a new modified wing with a longer wing box, new engines, an upgraded fuel system, a digital sighting navigation system and an automatic aircraft control system, Drik said.

The Il-76 aircraft is the most widespread military transport aircraft used by the Russian Air Force, the defense official said. It is designed for military cargo and personnel transportation and landing. Also, the Il-78 refueling tanker and the A-50 AEWC system were created on the basis of Il-76.

To improve its takeoff and landing characteristics and increase its maximum takeoff weight, the Il-76 was upgraded into the Il-76M, then into Il-76MD and finally into Il-76-MD-90A.