Russia has rolled out the first IL-78M-90A modernized tanker aircraft for the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Aviastar-SP production facility.
The IL-78M-90A is modernized version of Il-78 military transport aircraft. It is powered by four PS-90A-76 turbofan engines instead of D-30KP-2, United Aircraft Corporation said in a statement Wednesday.
The modernization program focuses on the replacement of flight, navigation; radio communications, lighting and other equipment deemed obsolete that will be removed adding modern avionics.
The Il-78M-90A aerial tankers developed by the Ilyushin Company (a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation, OAK) on the base of the Il-76MD-90A heavy military transport aircraft.
Earlier in July 2016, Russian news agency Tass had reported quoting an unnamed defense ministry source as saying that India would be interested in the tanker aircraft.
"The MoD has terminated the program to acquire six A330 MRTT aerial tankers from the Airbus. We are planning to re-launch the relevant tender. The Ministry will consider other options, for instance, KC-767 by Boeing or Il-78M-90A by Ilyushin together with A330 MRTT," the source said.
The Il-78M aerial tanker was developed in the 1980s. It has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 210 t, a maximum speed of 830 km/h, a cruise speed of 750 km/h, an operational range of 4,000 km, and a service ceiling of 11,230 m.
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China is developing an aerial refueling version of the Y-20 strategic airlifter aircraft after rejecting a proposal to buy more Russian Il-78 tankers due to their high asking price. A tanker variant for the Y-20 is now under development, an unnamed expert told Global Times newspaper
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