This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft to enter production in 2021


Next year Aviastar-SP UAC will begin the production of ten Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft under the contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. It will allow to refuel simultaneously two aircraft.

Follow Air Recognition on Google News at this link


Ilyushin Il 78M 90A refueling aircraft to enter production in 2021 1 Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft (Picture source: Rostec)


The Ilyushin Il-78M-90A is an upgraded variant of the Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name: Midas) is a Soviet four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) strategic airlifter. It is based on the Il-76MD-90A. The Il-78 The Il-78 has a total transferable fuel load of 85,720 kg (188,980 lb), which includes 28,000 kg (62,000 lb) from a pair of 18,230-litre (4,010 imp gal; 4,820 US gal) tanks in the freight hold. In comparison, the Il-76 has a capacity of only 10,000 kg (22,000 lb). The Il-78 transfers fuel solely through deployment of the probe-and-drogue refueling method.

The first Il-78M-90A prototype was rolled out on 29 November 2017, and performed its maiden flight on 25 January 2018. On December 12, 2020, an order for 10 Il-78M-90A was signed, with the serial production starting in 2021.The Il-78M-90A becomes the first refuelling aircraft produced in Russia in the post-Soviet era. In a longer run, it will become the main refuelling aircraft adapted for in-flight refuelling of long-range, front-line, and special-purpose aircraft. The refuelling aircraft can easily be converted into a military and transport or a fire-fighting aircraft.


Ilyushin Il 78M 90A refueling aircraft to enter production in 2021 2 Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft (Picture source: Rostec)