Aviastar-SP rolls out first Il-78M-90A aerial refuelling aircraft

World Defense & Security Industry News - Aviastar-SP
Aviastar-SP rolls out first Il-78M-90A aerial refuelling aircraft
Aviastar-SP today rolled out the Il-78M-90A aerial refuelling aircraft first prototype, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on its Twitter account. Russia started developping an upgraded variant of the Il-76MD-90A in 2012 under the PSZ (Perspektyvnyi Samolot Zapravshchik) program.
Aviastar SP rolls out first Il 78M 90A aerial refuelling aircraft 640 001The first Il-78M-90A appeared at Aviastar-SP factory plant
(Credit: UAC)
The upgraded refuelling aircraft can additionally carry up to 110 tons of fuel thanks to two extra tanks, Sergei Dementyev, Aviastar-SP Company’s Director-General, reported on Oct. 2015. "The next year’s job is to send the Il-78M-90A into the air. This is the first flying prototype to undergo acceptance trials. We look forward to signing a contract based on results obtained," he noted.

Dementyev specified that each of the extra tanks can carry up to 50 tons of fuel. The aerial tanker can simultaneously refuel three aircraft. It was reported previously that on land it can simultaneously refuel up to four aircraft.

The Il-78M-90A is going to be the main aerial tanker of the Russian Air Force adapted to aerial refueling of fighters, bombers and special purpose aircraft.

The new Il-78 aircraft is powered by four PS-90A-76 engines with increased takeoff power. Two operating modes can be used in takeoff, i.e. maximum increased takeoff power mode of 16,000 kgf and maximum takeoff power mode of 14,500 kgf.

It was reported that the new aircraft is due to take to the air in the first quarter of 2016.

Il-78-90A is being created based on an in-depth modernization of the Il-76, i.e. Il-76MD-90A. A new attitude and heading reference system and automatic control and communication complexes enhance flight safety and aerial navigation accuracy. Also, they make paradropping more precise. The latest model of the widely known military transport aircraft differs in that it has new equipment, including an all-glass cockpit, modern PS-90A-76 engines, modified wings and reinforced undercarriage. In the future, the Il-76MD-90A can be used for creating an electronic warfare aircraft.

The Il-78M-90A features advanced UPAZ-1M commonised refueling pod, an upgraded variant of the Il-78 UPAZ-1 pod. The UPAZ-1M features enhanced performance that is especially relevant for refueling large planes, e.g. strategic bombers and special aircraft that had to receive tens of thousands of liters of avgas in a limited time (about 20 min). A special air duct and a sophisticated turbine of the turbopump of the advanced refueling pod are designed to increase the fuel transfer rate.