Russia's new transport plane Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A that is capable of carrying paratroopers and Special Operations troops deep into the enemy’s rear undetected, is ready for use.
The modernized version of the Il-76MD is equipped with onboard electronics that enables it to fly just meters above the ground at night and in heavy fog, Sputnik News reported today.
“The appearance of Il-76MD-90A has already been approved by a special commission in Ulyanovsk,” a Defense Ministry representative said.
“All onboard systems are now in place on and a series test flights are scheduled to be held shortly. If everything goes well, the new electronics will be installed on all existing and future Il-76MD-90As,” he added.
The Il-76MD-90A, equipped with advanced optical and electronic stations, collision warning gear and onboard defense systems, is designed to transport a range of military equipment, armed personnel, heavy and long size vehicles and cargoes.
It will also be used in parachuting cargo/troops and other airborne cargo missions. Unique onboard equipment enables the Il-76MD-90A to land on dirt surfaces with switched off landing lights and flashing navigation lights. The Il-76MD-90A has a maximum take-off weight of 210 tons and can carry a maximum payload of 52 tons.
Russian Military of Defence (MoD) ordered 39 Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A planes from United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) for $4 billion in 2012. The expected delivery date was 2014 but the first delivery delayed till last year.
The cargo cabin boasts a length of 24.5 m that is 3.45 m wide and 3.4 m tall. It also has a built-in ramp for easy loading of items.
The plane is 18% more fuel-efficient compared to its predecessors and it is expected to perform well for the next 30 years. Further it can tolerate a maximum of 30,000 flying hours.