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Russia's Defense Ministry orders two Il-96-400TZ tanker aircraft from United Aircraft Corporation

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World Defense & Security Industry News - Russia
 
 
Russia's Defense Ministry orders two Il-96-400TZ tanker aircraft from United Aircraft Corporation
 
The Russian Defense Ministry has announced last week the purchase of two Il-96-400TZ tanker aircraft to supplement and replace the Il-78 "Midas". The Il-96-400 operates as a freighter and is an enlarged and modernized version of the Il-96-300D.
     
The Russian Defense Ministry has announced last week the purchase of two Il-96-400TZ tanker aircraft to supplement and replace the Il-78 Midas. The Il-96-400 operates as a freighter and is an enlarged and modernized version of the Il-96-300D. Ilyushin Il-96 airliner
     
According to the Russian MoD, the new aircraft will be fitted with the same UPAZ-1/ORM-1 (Unifitsirovanny Podvesnoy Agregaht Zaprahvky: Standardised Suspended Refuelling Unit) wing-mounted air-to-air refuelling pods as used in the twenty Il-78s in service in the Russian Air Force.

The new tanker aircraft is able to transfer more than 65 tons of fuel over 3,500 km away from its base, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The Il-96-400 is a stretched version of the Russian Il-96 four-engined, which so far has only entered service in cargo version, three of them are being converted to passenger aircraft for incorporation into the fleet of Cubana Airline.

The development of Il-96-400 in tanker variant was announced in 2004 and was talk of a possible deal to the US Air Force in the contest that finally won Boeing with its KC-46. In January 2006 the Ministry of Defense of Russia announced plans to buy between 20 and 40 Il-96-400VT (as the tanker version was then called), and the ability to export the model to countries like China or India. The fleet of Russian Il-78 tanker aircraft (a version of the Il-76) will reach the end of their operational life between 2015 and 2020.