|A Russian Air Force Il-76MD|
|Role||Strategic and tactical airlifter|
|National origin||Soviet Union / Russia|
|Built by|| Tashkent Aviation Production Association |
|First flight||25 March 1971|
|Status||In production, in service|
|Primary users|| Russian Air Force |
Ukrainian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Libyan Air Force
|Variants|| Ilyushin Il-78 |
The Ilyushin Il-76 (Russian : Илью́шин Ил-76; NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union's Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed to deliver heavy machinery to remote, poorly served areas. Military versions of the Il-76 have been widely used in Europe, Asia and Africa, including use as an aerial refueling tanker or command center.
The Il-76 has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. It has also been used as an emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world. Due to its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful in undeveloped areas. Specialized models have also been produced for aerial firefighting and zero-G training.
The aircraft was first conceived by Ilyushin in 1967 to meet a requirement for a freighter able to carry a payload of 40 tonnes (88,000 lb) over a range of 5,000 kilometres (2,700 nmi; 3,100 mi) in less than six hours, able to operate from short and unprepared airstrips, and capable of coping with the worst weather conditions likely to be experienced in Siberia and the Soviet Union's Arctic regions. It was intended to replace the Antonov An-12. Another intended version was a double-decked 250-passenger airliner but that project was cancelled. The Il-76 first flew in March 1971.
Production of Il-76s was allocated to the Tashkent Aviation Production Association in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then a republic of the Soviet Union. Some 860 of the basic transport variants were manufactured. 20 m (66 ft) long by 3.4 m (11 ft) wide by 3.4 m (11 ft) tall; these larger variants were not produced in significant quantity due to the financial difficulties being experienced by the Russian Air Force, which was the primary operator of the type.[ citation needed ] The prototype of the Il-76MF conducted its first flight on 1 August 1995.[ citation needed ]In the 1990s, modernized variants also equipped with Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines were developed (MF, TF), with a cargo compartment
From 2004 onwards, a number of aircraft in commercial service were modernized to the Il-76TD-90VD version; this involved the adoption of the newly developed PS-90 engine to comply with European noise limitations. [ citation needed ] In June 2013, Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport announced an order by China for 12 Il-76MD aircraft.In 2005, the People's Republic of China placed an order for 34 new Il-76MDs and four Il-78 tankers.
The Il-76 has also been modified into an airborne refuelling tanker, designated the Il-78, around 50 aircraft having been produced.A variant of the Il-76 also serves as a firefighting waterbomber. Its airframe was used as a base for the Beriev A-50 'Mainstay' AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) aircraft; around 25 aircraft were made. Another application for the type was found in Antarctic support flights and for conducting simulated weightlessness training for cosmonauts (akin to the "Vomit Comet" used by NASA). Beriev and NPO Almaz also developed an airborne laser flying laboratory designated A-60, of which two were built, much of this project's details remaining classified.
It was announced in 2010 that the production of a modernized Il-76, the Il-76MD-90A (also known as project Il-476 during the design stage), would begin; a proposed new production line would be located in Aviastar's facility in Ulyanovsk, Russia, and be operated in cooperation with the Tashkent works.At that point, the construction of two Il-76MD-90A prototypes had begun at the Ulyanovsk facility. The 1st Il-76MD-90A was rolled out at Aviastar's Ulyanovsk plant on 16 June 2014. On 29 April 2015, it was reported that the Russian Air Force received the first Il-76MD-90A built at the Ulyanovsk plant "Aviastar-SP" from the 2012 contract for 39 aircraft. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) received its first serial production Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A airlifter on 2 April 2019. As of early 2021, 27 aircraft are ordered to be delivered in the period up to 2028 and 9 had been built.
First aircraft were delivered to the Soviet Air Force in June 1974.Next it became the main Soviet strategic transport aircraft. From 1976 it was operated by Aeroflot.
Between 1979 and 1991, the Soviet Air Force Il-76s made 14,700 flights into Afghanistan, transporting 786,200 servicemen, and 315,800 tons of freight. The Il-76 carried 89% of Soviet troops and 74% of the freight that was airlifted. As Afghan rebels were unable to shoot down high-flying Il-76s, their tactics were to try and damage it on takeoff or landing. Il-76s were often hit by shoulder-launched Stinger and Strela heat-seeking missiles and large-calibre machine gun fire, but because the strong airframes were able to take substantial damage and still remain operational, the aircraft had a remarkably low attrition rate during this period of conflict. Building on that experience, the bulk of the Canadian Forces equipment into Afghanistan was flown in using civilian Il-76s.In 2006, the Russian Air Force had about 200 Il-76s. Civilian users in Russia have 108.
On August 3, 1995, an Il-76 piloted by a Russian crew was forced down by a Taliban fighter plane sparking the Airstan incident.
In 2004, a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Il-76 carried out a flight mission in Afghanistan, and later in 2011, PLAAF Il-76s were sent to Libya to evacuate Chinese citizens. The two missions were the reported first steps of PLAAF developing long-range transportation capability.
On 23 March 2007, a Transaviaexport Il-76 was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile while taking off from Mogadishu, Somalia. Everybody on board, seven crew and four passengers, was killed.
Syrian Air Force Il-76s, operating as civil Syrianair aircraft, have been reportedly used to ship weapons, money, and other cargo from Russia and Iran to Syria, according to a defected Syrian military pilot. Since the start of the war, in April 2011 (and up to July 2012), around 20 military flights have been conducted to and from Tehran, via Iraqi airspace. Further information exposes that since around 2012, Syrian Il-76s have regularly flown to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport to fetch shipments of Syrian banknotes that have been useful to Bashar al-Assad's government to survive Western sanctions.
On 14 June 2014, a Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 was shot down by ground fire from pro-Russian separatists while on approach to landing at Luhansk, resulting in the deaths of 40 soldiers and nine crew members on board.
On 30 January 2017, an IL-76 firebomber of the Russian EMERCOM agency was deployed to Chile to assist firefighters. This assignment took 39 days.
All Il-76 transport aircraft in service with the RF Aerospace Forces will receive anti-missile systems. The aircraft reconfiguration started in the spring of 2019.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(June 2013)
This section needs additional citations for verification .(June 2013)
Military and civil operators in 38 countries have operated 850+ Il-76 in large numbers. While Russia is the largest military operator of the Il-76, followed by Ukraine and India, Belarus' TransAVIAexport Airlines is the largest civilian operator.
As of April 2018 a total of 80 Il-76 series aircraft have been written off in crashes and other incidents,including the following:
Data fromIlyushin,Aviadvigatel, Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
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This is a list of aviation-related events from 2009:
The 2009 Iranian Air Force Il-76MD Adnan 2 accident of 22 September 2009 resulted in the destruction of Iran's only functional airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-76MD Adnan 2. Sources conflict on the cause of the loss, with some stating that there was a mid-air collision with an Iranian Air Force Northrop F-5E Tiger II or a HESA Saeqeh, and others stating that the rotodome detached from the aircraft, striking and removing the tailplane while the aircraft was maneuvering for an emergency landing following an engine fire.
Sun Way Flight 4412 was an international scheduled cargo flight from Karachi, Pakistan, to Khartoum, Sudan. On 28 November 2010, the Ilyushin Il-76 operating the flight crashed while attempting to return to Karachi after one of the engines caught fire. Twelve people were killed in the crash: everyone on board the aircraft and four people on the ground.
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