Aero India 2021: Russia and India discussing Il-76 plane upgrade

Russia and India are in talks on the upgrade of Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) military transport aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force, the press office of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) told TASS at the Aero India 2021 international exhibition.

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Russia and India discussing Il 76 plane upgrade 02 Il-76 (Picture source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

“We are holding talks on the upgrade of operational planes of the Il-76 family,” the press office said.

According to the press office, the UAC is ready to consider the opportunity of renewing India’s fleet of Il-78 (Midas) aerial tankers made on the basis of the Il-76.
The Il-76 is the main heavy military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The Il-76 is a four engine heavy duty/long haul military transport aircraft of Russian origin with a max speed of 850 km/hr. It has a twin 23 mm cannon in tail turret and capacity to carry 225 paratroopers or 40 tonnes freight, wheeled or tracked armoured vehicles.

Russia and India discussing Il 76 plane upgrade Il-78 (Picture source: Konstantin Tyurpeko)

The Ilyushin Il-78 (Midas) is a Soviet four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 strategic airlifter. It  has a total transferable fuel load of 85,720 kilograms (188,980 lb), which includes 28,000 kilograms (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 kilograms (22,000 lb). The Il-78 transfers fuel solely through deployment of the probe-and-drogue refueling method.

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