Russian Air Force receives first upgraded Ilyushin Il-76MD-M

The first upgraded Ilyushin Il-76MD-M airlifter has been handed over to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Vice-President for Transport Aircraft at Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Alexei Rogozin said. The first upgraded plane has arrived at one of the bases of the Russian Aerospace Force’s military transport aviation.

Russian Air Force receives first upgraded Ilyushin Il 76MD M Ilyushin Il-76MD-M (Picture source: Ilyushin)

"The work to upgrade operational Il-76MD (NATO code: Candid) military transport planes to the Il-76MD-M standard is being carried out on order of the Aerospace Force. During the upgrade, the planes are expected to receive an advanced avionics suite," said Rogozin, who is also CEO of the Ilyushin Company.

Besides, the plane has been equipped with a new flight and navigation system that meets all requirements and flight rules. Also, the aircraft’s lighting, aerial delivery, furnishing and communications equipment and defensive aids were replaced. "The plane has been furnished with an electro-optical sighting system able to operate in the infrared and optical bands. It makes it possible to monitor drop zones," Rogozin said.

The upgraded version has standardized components mounted on the Il-76MD-90A military transport and Il-78M-90A (Midas) aerial refueling planes being produced in Ulyanovsk in the Volga area. During the upgrade, the plane’s D-30KP engines were improved. This allowed expanding the aircraft’s service life by 15 years.

In August 2013, the Russian Defense Ministry and the Ilyushin Company signed a state contract for the upgrade of Il-76MD heavy military transport planes and Il-78M aerial tankers. The upgrade is aimed at expanding the aircraft’s service life, providing them with advanced navigation and communication systems and replacing equipment that is no longer produced.