Role: Strategic Airlifter
National Origin: Formerly the Soviet Union, now Russia.
Primiry users: Russian Air Force, Ukranie's Air Force, Indian Air Force.
First flight: March 25 1975
Introduced: June 1974
The Il-76 is a military and civilian cargo transport. It is Russia's equal to the C-17 Globemaster III. first introduced in the 1970's the plane still transports the Russian military and Three other airforce's.
Design and development
The aircraft was first concived in 1967 to meet a new requirement for a plane that was able to haul over 40 tons 5000 km, or 2700 miles, In less then six hours, and be able to operate in servar weather conditions. Also, it had to be able to operate on unpaved and unprepared airstips.
Production of the aircarft was placed in Tashkent aviation production association. 860 were produced of the basic transport model. In the 1990 modernized models were created which are the (MF and the TF)
Some commerial aircarft were modernized to the Il-76TD-90VD version, begening from 2004. using the PS-90 engine; to meet the European nosie limit.
The Russian Air Force orded 34, Il-76MD's and four tanker versions commanly known as the Il-78. The factory produced 16 incomplete airframes. In 2004, A PLAAF Il-76 carried out flight mission in Afghanistan, later in 2011, PLAAF Il-76s were sent to Libya to evacuate Chinese citizens. The two missions were reported first steps of PLAAF developing long-range transportation capacity.
Production of the Il-476 at a new production line at the Aviatstar factory in Ulyanovsk, in Russia, in cooperation with the Tashkent works, is under consideration. The construction of two prototype IL-476s has begun at the Ulyanovk facility.
First Il-76's were delivered to the Soviet Air Force in June 1974. Next it became the main Soviet strategic transport aircraft. From 1976 it was operated by the Aeroflot.
Between 1979 and 1991, The Soviet Air Force Il-76s made 14,700 flights into Afghanistan, transporting 786,200 servicemen, and 315,800 tons of freight. The Il-76 carried 89% of Soviet troops and 74% of the freight that was airlifted. As Afghan rebels were unable to shoot down high-flying Il-76s.
Their tactics were to try and damage it at take-off or landing. Il-76s were often hit by shoulder-launched Stinger and Strela heat-seeking missiles and large-calibre machine-gun fire, but because the strong airframes were able to take substantial damage and still remain operational, the aircraft had a remarkably low attrition rate during the period of conflict.
Building on that experience, the bulk of the Canadian Forces equipment into Afghanistan is flown in using civilian Il-76. In 2006, the Russian Air Force had about 200 Il-76s. Civilian users in Russia have 108.
Il-76s sitting on the ramp at the Tripoli Airport were bombed by USAF F-111s during Operation El Dorado Canyon in April 1986.
The Il-76 is also in use as an airborne Tanker, otherwise known as a refueller (Il-78, some 50 were made), and a Water bomber. Its airframe was used as a base for the Beriev A-50 'Mainstay' AWACS aircraft 25 were
made. Still more applications have been found in Antarctic support flights and simulated weightlessness training for cosmonauts. Beriev and NPO Almaz also developed an airborne laser flying laboratory designated A-60, of which two were built, although little is known about it, as the project is still classified.
- Izdeliye-176: prototype Il-76PP.
- Izdeliye-676: Telemetry and communications relay aircraft, for use during trial programmes (prototype).
- Izdeliye-776: Telemetry and communications relay aircraft, for use during trial programmes (prototype).
- IZdeliye-976 ("SKIP") - (СКИП - Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Center): Il-76/A-50 based Range Control and Missile tracking platform. Initially built to support Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile tests.
- Izdeliye-1076: Special mission aircraft for unknown duties.
- Izdeliye-1176: ELINT electronic intelligence aircraft, a.k.a. Il-76-11
- Il-76TD-90 / Il-76MD-90: Engine upgrades to Perm PS-90s.
- Il-76 firebomber: Fire-fighting aircraft to drop exploding capsules filled with fire retardant.
- Il-76PSD: SAR version of Il-76MF
- Il-96: Early development of convertible passenger/cargo aircraft, (project only, designation re-used later)
- Il-150: proposed Beriev A-50 with Perm PS-90 engines.
- Beriev A-60: Airborne laser weapon testbed. (Il-76 version 1A)
- Il-76-Tu-160 tailplane transporter: One-off temporary conversion to support Tu-160 emergency modification programme.
- Il-76D: ('D' for "Desantnyi", Десантный - "Paratrooper transport") has a gun turret in the tail for defensive purposes.
- Il-76K/Il-76MDK/Il-76MDK-II: Zero-g cosmonaut trainer (dlya podgotovki kosmonavtov), for Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center.
- Il-76LL: Engine testbed, (ooniversahl'naya letayuschchaya laboratoriya).
- Il-76M: Military transport version, (modifitseerovannyy - modified).
- Il-76MD: Improved military transport version, (modifitseerovannyy Dahl'ny - modified, long-range).
- Il-76MD Skal'pel-MT: - Mobile Hospital
- Il-76M / Il-76MD: Built without military equipment but designated as Ms and MDs (Gordon - 'Falsies')
- Il-76MD-90: An Il-76MD with quieter and more economical Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines.
- Il-76MF: Stretched military version with a 6.6 m longer fuselage, PS-90 engines, maximum take-off mass 210 t and lift capability of 60 tonnes. First flew in 1995, not built in series so far, just built for Jordan.
- Il-76PP: ECM aircraft, major problems with ECM equipment on the Izdeliye-176 only.
- Il-76MD PS: Maritime Search and Rescue aircraft, (poiskovo-spasahtel'nyy).
- Il-76T/Il-76TD: Built as military aircraft but given civilian designations. (Gordon - 'Falsie')
- Il-78 / Il-78M: Aerial refuelling tanker.
- Il-78 MKI: A customized version of the Il-78 developed for the Indian Air Force.
- Il-82: Airborne Command Post/communications relay aircraft, (alternative designation - Il-76VKP-'version65S').
- Beriev A-50/Beriev A-50M/Beriev A-50I/Beriev A-50E: - Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft. Beriev given control over the program.
- KJ-2000: Chinese Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft using the Il-76 platform.
- Il-476: An updated version with a new glass cockpit and Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines.
- Il-76MGA: Initial Commercial freighter. (2 prototypes and 12 production)
- Il-76MD to Il-76TD conversions: Complete removal of Military equipment, identified by crude cover over OBIGGS inlet in Starboard Sponson.
- Il-76P / Il-76TP / Il-76TDP / Il-76MDP: Firefighting aircraft. The Il-76 waterbomber is a VAP-2 1.5 hour install/removal tanking kit conversion. The Il-76 can carry up to 13,000 U.S. gallons (49,000 liters) of water; 3.5 times the capacity of the C-130 Hercules. Since this kit can be installed on any Il-76, the designation Il-76TP, Il-76TDP are also used when those versions of the Il-76 are converted into waterbombers. The Il-76P was first unveiled in 1990.
- Il-76T: ('T' for Transport, Транспортный) unarmed civil cargo transport version. NATO code-name "Candid-A". It first flew on November 4, 1978.
- Il-76TD: The civil equivalent of the Il-76MD, first flew in 1982.
- Il-76TD-90VD: An Il-76TD with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines and a partial glass cockpit. It was developed specially for Volga-Dnepr cargo company. 3 aircraft had been built already
- Il-76TD-S: Civilian mobile Hospital, similar to Il-76MD Skal'pel-MT.
- Il-76TF: Civil transport stretched version with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines. It is the civil version of the Il-76MF (none produced).
- A-50E/I Phalcon: For the Indian Air Force. Hosts Israeli Phalcon radar for AWACS and Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines.
- Il-76MD tanker: Iraqi Air Force tanker conversions.
- KJ-2000: Domestic Chinese AWACS conversion of Il-76, developed after A-50I was cancelled and currently in service with the armed forces of China.
- CFTE engine testbed: The China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) currently operates a flying testbed converted from a Russian-made Il-76MD jet transport aircraft to serve as a flying testbed for future engine development programmes. The first engine to be tested on the aircraft is the WS-10A “Taihang” turbofan, currently being developed as the powerplant for China’s indigenous J-10 and J-11 fighter aircraft. The #76456 Il-76MD, acquired by the AVIC 1 from Russia in the 1990s, is currently based at CFTE’s flight test facility at Yanliang, Shaanxi Province.
- Baghdad-1: Iraqi development with a radar mounted in the cargo hold, used in the Iran - Iraq war.
- Baghdad-2: Iraqi development (with French assistance) with fibreglass-reinforced plastic radome over the antenna of the Thomson-CSF Tiger G surveillance radar with a maximum detection range of 350 km (189 nmi, 217.5 mi). One was destroyed on the ground during the Persian Gulf War but two others (Adnan-1 and Adnan-2) were flown to Iran where they remained. They were re-named Simorgh and probably modified. At least one was put back to service with IRIAF since on 22 September 2009, one of them crashed during a midair collision with a HESA Saeqeh fighter jet during the annual Iranian military parade in Teheran. The other one is believed to be not flightworthy as of 2009. It can be easily distinguished from the Beriev A-50 by having the Il-76 navigator windows in the nose, which the A-50 does not.
- Military transport aircraft
- Beriev A-50
- Beriev A-100
- Ilyushin Il-78
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Antonov An-22
- Antonov An-70
- Airbus A400M Atlas
- Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
- Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
- Xi'an Y-20
- List of aircraft
- List of civil aircraft