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  • Ilyushin IL-76 (Candid) Strategic Transport / Tanker Aircraft

    Despite its age, the Soviet-era Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft series is still used around the globe in both civilian and military guises.

     Updated: 6/18/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Ilyushin IL-76 heavy transport was debuted in the early 1970s, entered service in the mid-1970s and is still operating today - some 36 years after its inception. At any rate, the IL-76 has proven something of a success story worldwide with an estimated 960 examples delivered. The airframe has also become highly adaptable to the needs of its clients in varying roles. Roles include both military and civilian functions, in carrying military paratroopers or civilian passengers as well as heavy cargo hauling. Other roles have been pressed upon the IL-76 including that of Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), AWACS-type duties, airborne hospital, Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) (IL-76PP), airborne command post (IL-VPK), maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), firefighting, "Zero-G" training for Soviet cosmonauts (IL-76MDK) and aerial refueling.

    The Soviet Need

    The Ilyushin IL-76 was born out of a Soviet 1967 requirement calling for a heavy cargo hauler capable of carrying loads upwards of 88,000lbs out over 3,000 miles at speed. This aircraft was to serve with both the VTA Soviet military transport service and civilian operator Aeroflot while replacing the prop-driven, heavy cargo Antonov An-12BP. Additionally, the new design would have Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities in all weather types and inherent qualities to allow for operations from rough or unprepared airstrips. The aircraft would play a large role in servicing the remote, hard-to-reach outlying areas of the Soviet Empire. Ilyushin delivered on their concept - with a lead role played by G. V. Novozhilov - and the first prototype flew on March 25th, 1971.

    Images Gallery


    Ilyushin IL-76D (Candid) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1975
    Type: Strategic Transport / Tanker Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Ilyushin; Tashkent Aviation Production Association - Soviet Union / Uzbekistan
    Production Total: 960

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 5 to 10
    Length: 152.85 feet (46.59 meters)
    Width: 165.68 feet (50.50 meters)
    Height: 48.43 feet (14.76 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 202,825 lb (92,000 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 418,878 lb (190,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 4 x Soloviev D-30KP turbofan engines developing 26,500 lb of thrust each.

    Maximum Speed: 559 mph (900 kph; 486 knots)
    Maximum Range: 2,734 miles (4,400 km)
    Service Ceiling: 42,651 feet (13,000 meters; 8.08 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 23mm twin barrel GSh-23L cannons in tail.

    OPTIONAL (some models):
    500kg of bombs along four underwing hardpoints.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Algeria; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Cambodia; China; Congo-Brazzaville; Cuba; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Hungary; India; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Laos; Latvia; Libya; Mali; Moldova; North Korea; Sao Tome and Principe; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Yemen; Zimbabwe; United States

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Izdeliye-176 - Prototype for the IL-76PP production model.

    Izdeliye-576 - Prototype

    Izdeliye-676 - Prototype

    Izdeliye-776 - Prototype

    Izdeliye-976SKIP / Beriev Be-976 - Missile and Fighter Tracking Variant.


    Izdeliye-1176 - ELectronic INTelligence (ELINT) platform.

    IL-76-Tu160 - Single Example constructed for T-160 modification program.

    IL-76D - Paratrooper Transport

    IL-76K - Zero-G Trainer Variant; used for the Russian space program.

    IL-76MDK - Initial cosmonaut Zero-G trainer conversion.

    IL-76LL - Powerplant Testbed for Gromov Flight Research Institute.

    IL-76M (Candid-B) - Militarized Transport

    IL-76MD (Candid-B) - Improved Militarized Transport.

    IL-76MD (Candid-B) (Skal'pel-MT) - Airborne Hospital.

    IL-76M (Candid-B) - Sans Military Equipment

    IL-76MD (Candid-B) - Sans Military Equipment

    IL-76MD-90 (Candid-B) - Based on the IL-76MD; fitted with quieter Aviadvigatel PS-90 series engines.

    IL-76MF (Candid-B) - "Stretched" IL-76 with elongated fuselage; PS-90 series powerplants; not in quantitative production; transport variant.

    IL-76MF-90A - Developmental modernized short-take off variant of the IL-76MF; fitted with PS-90A-76 engines; undergoing assessment trials as of 2013.

    IL-76PP - Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) Platform.

    IL-76MD PS - Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Platform.

    IL-76T - Military platform in civilian guise.

    IL-76TD - Military platform in civilian guise.

    IL-78 - Aerial Refueling Tanker

    IL-78M - Improved Aerial Refueling Tanker

    IL-82 - Airborne Command Post Platform


    IL-76TD-90 - Fitted with Perm PS-90 engines

    IL-76MD-90 - Fitted with Perm PS-90 engines

    IL-76MDP - Firefighting Platform

    IL-76PSD - Search and Rescue Platform based on the IL-76MF.

    IL-96 - Proposed Passenger/Cargo transport.

    IL-150 - Proposed Beriev A-50 fitted with Perm PS-90 engines.

    IL-76MGA - Commercial Cargo Hauler

    IL-76MD - Commercial Variant; sans military equipment.

    IL-76TD - Commercial Variant; sans military equipment.

    IL-76P - Firefighting Platform

    IL-76TP - Firefighting Platform

    IL-76TDP - Firefighting Platform

    IL-76MDP - Firefighting Platform

    IL-76T (Candid-A) - Civilian Cargo Hauler

    IL-76TD (Candid-A) - Civilian IL-76MD

    IL-76TD-90VD (Candid-A) - Based on the IL-76TD; fitted with Aviadvigatel PS-90 series engines; updated cockpit.

    IL-76TD-S (Candid-A) - Civilian Airborne Hospital

    IL-76TF (Candid-A) - Civilian Transport; elongated fuselage; fitted with Aviadvigatel PS-90 series engines; based on the IL-76MF; never produced.

    IL-76 "Phalcon" - AWACS variant in use by the Indian Air Force; fitted with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines.

    IL-76MD - Iraqi Aerial Refueling Tanker

    Beriev A-50 - Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

    Beriev A-50U - Improved AEW Platform

    Beriev A-50M - Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

    Beriev A-50I - Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

    Beriev A-50E - Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

    Beriev A-60 - Weapons Testbed

    KJ-2000 - AWACS variant in use by the Chinese Air Force; fitted with AESA radar.

    Baghdad-1 - Failed Iraqi Conversion Model; radar fitted in cargo hold area; fitted with Thomson-CSF radar.

    Baghdad-2 - Iraqi Conversion Model; fitted with Thomson-CSF Tiger G surveillance radar.

    Adnan-1 - AEW&C rotodome; large strakes; three total converions with one destroyed on the ground in Gulf War.