Jan 2, 2015
First serial-production Il-76MD-90A airlifter makes maiden flight
Aircraft's engines, equipment, and general handling were evaluated during the flight.
The Russian Air Force is contracted to receive 39 of the upgraded Il-76MD-90A airlifters. It is understood to have a requirement for up to 100 of the upgraded tankers, as well as 38 Il-76MD-90A-derived Il-478 tankers.
Developed from the Soviet-era Il-76 'Candid', the Il-76MD-90A features a digital 'glass' cockpit as well as modernised flight, navigation, and communication systems.
The Il-76MD-90A development is part of a wider revamp of the VVS's airlift capabilities that should see it replace much of its current Soviet-era stock with new and improved platforms by about 2020.
The Il-76MDM upgrade process should increase the service life of 41 of the VVS's current Il-76MD fleet by a further 15 years, but at a third of the cost of buying brand new Il-76MD-90A aircraft.