Russian Air Force Orders First Ten Il-78M-90A Tankers
Russian Air Force Orders First Ten Il-78M-90A Tankers

Russian Air Force Orders Ten Il-78M-90A Tankers

The Ulyanovsk plant Aviastar-SP (CJSC Aviastar-SP), which is part of the transport aviation division of PJSC UAC of the Rostec State Corporation, will start fulfilling a contract for the production and supply of 10 Il-78M-90A tanker aircraft for the needs of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The new tanker is based on the Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft. The contract was signed during the working trip of Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko to the enterprise. On the part of UAC, the document was signed by Sergei Yarkovoy, First Deputy General Director of PJSC UAC, Managing Director of PJSC Il.

The improved Il-78M-90A tanker aircraft is equipped with four new generation PS-90A-76 engines. At the refueling station, the flight and navigation complex has been completely renewed, as well as a “glass cockpit” has been implemented, which allows to reduce the workload on the crew and improve flight safety. The Il-78M-90A will allow for the simultaneous refueling of two front-line aircraft. And from the tail unit, it is possible to refuel long-range and special aircraft. When using the IL-78M-90A on the ground, it is possible to simultaneously refuel four aircraft. The Il-78M-90A tanker can be converted and, if necessary, can be used as a cargo plane.

the first Il-78M-90A tanker (RF-78741) undergoing flight tests in Ulyanovsk.

The Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name Midas) is a Soviet four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 strategic airlifter.The Il-78 tanker was developed and designed in the Ilyushin Aviation Complex in Russia. The main reason behind its development was an expansion of the transferable fuel load of an earlier version of tanker, the Il-76. The Il-78 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).

CJSC Aviastar-SP is a Russian aircraft factory based in Ulyanovsk and founded in 1976. It is a closed shares joint stock company. It replaced the Soviet Ulyanovsk Aviation Industrial Complex and manufactures the cargo aircraft An-124 Ruslan, Il-76 and the whole Tu-204 family (except Tu-214). In 2007, 1.25% of Aviastar-SP capital has been injected into United Aircraft Corporation by the Russian Federation. The PJSC United Aircraft Corporation is a Russian aerospace and defense corporation. With a majority stake belonging to the Russian Government, it consolidates Russian state-owned aircraft manufacturing companies in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft.

Aviastar-SP is to start manufacturing of the ten IL-78M-90A aircraft next year in the framework of the contract with the Russian Ministry of Defence.