Crews of Il-76MD tactical transport aircraft practiced ground target bombing at ranges in the Tver region of Russia today.
The piloting crews carried out firing at ground targets, which imitated light-armored and automobile hardware of the mock enemy. More than ten Il-76MD aircraft were involved with each crew carried out three sorties, a Russian MoD announcement said.
The tests mean an expanded role for the tactical transport aircraft in which it will be able to attack ground targets before approaching a landing area in a contested zone. Russian aircraft operating in Syria have come under attack from rebel positions and a attack-capable Il-76MD could be in response to such threats.
According to Ilyushin company information, Il-76MD military transport aircraft is meant for parachute operations and landing of military personnel, military equipment, cargoes, fuel and containers. By reinforcing its airframe and landing gear, the maximum takeoff weight and load-carrying capacity have been increased.
The aircraft is equipped with 4 turbojet double-flow engines, the D-30KP series 2, with the thrust of 12 000 kgf each. The power plant provides the aircraft with high thrust/weight ratio and the presence of thrust reversers reduces the landing distance.
Il-76MD has a powerful wing-flap system and bogie landing gear with highly effective brake system, which allows takeoff and landing operations on unpaved airstrips.
The aircraft has an airproof freight compartment and a loading ramp to ensure convenient loading/unloading operations and parachuting of military personnel and cargo. Three passenger modules, shaped like standard freight containers, can be installed in the freight compartment.