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Ilyushin IL-102

Soviet Union (1982)
Picture of Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype
Picture of Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype Picture of Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype
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The Ilyushin IL-102 attacker prototype unsuccessfully challenged what would become the Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot in Soviet Air Force service.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype.  Entry last updated on 5/7/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The same 1967 Soviet Air Force requirement that spawned the Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" attack platform also gave birth to the competing Ilyushin Il-102 prototype. Both were designed around the ground attack role in support of advancing ground forces, able to bring considerable armament to bear upon unsuspecting enemy elements. The Il-102 endeavor netted just two prototypes for its contribution to the program while the Su-25 has gone on to have a healthily long - and successful - career which continues today.

One of the more important ground attack aircraft of World War 2 (1939-1945) was supplied by Ilyushin - the twin-seat, single-engine Il-2 "Sturmovik" - so the concern already held a long-running history in the field of ground attack platforms. The jet age changed the role considerably as higher operating forces were now in play and pilot training and ordnance delivery made more complicated as a result.

For the Soviet requirement, the aircraft would have excellent loitering capabilities, strong cockpit and systems protection, and an above-average ordnance load capability. This meant a more conventional design approach as opposed to the sleek, fast-flying aircraft permeating the Cold War inventories of both sides of the decades-long conflict. The Il-102 essentially became a further evolution of the company's "Il-40" which was worked on in the early 1950s - just seven being built. This provided a suitable framework for the new requirement which was made into the "Il-42" and incorporated a internal twin-engine configuration, two crewmembers, and a "stinger" tail turret to protect the aircraft's vulnerable "six". The Il-42 was not endorsed by Air Force authorities which forced Ilyushin to continue work (privately) down another development path and this produced the twin-seat, twin-engine "Il-102".

The Il-102 was not an aesthetically-pleasing aircraft by any regard - but then again most ground attackers were not: the classic World War 2-era Il-2, the Su-25, and the American Fairchild A-10 "Thunderbolt II" all followed similar utilitarian-minded design lines. In regards to the Il-102, the pilot sat in an armored cockpit ahead of a raised fuselage spine and under a canopy featuring heavy framing. The cockpit was set behind a nose assembly which was sloped to provide an over-the-nose view. The wing mainplanes were swept aft (30-degrees) and mounted at midships, connected to the slab-sided fuselage through the side-mounted engine nacelles. The engines were spaced apart for a built-in survivability quality and aspirated through circular ports ahead of the cockpit walls and aft of the wing trailing edges. The tail unit used a single vertical plane and two low-mounted horizontal planes, these given noticeable dihedral (upward angle). The undercarriage was wholly-retractable and consisted of a single-wheeled nose leg with a pair of twin-wheeled main legs. The main legs retracted into assemblies held outboard of each engine installation along the wing mainplanes. Unlike the competing Su-25, which relied on a single pilot, the Il-102 had a crew of two seated-back-to-back. The tail gun was remotely-controlled by the second crewman ala the classic Il-2. Beyond the crew spaces being armored from ground-based fire, so too were the critical fuel stores and vital engine compartments.


Picture of the Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype
Picture of the Ilyushin IL-102 Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype


Power to the aircraft was from 2 x Klimov RD-33I turbofan engines developing 11,465lb of thrust each. These also powered another crucial Soviet Cold War player - the Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum" lightweight fighter.

Proposed armament became 1 x 30mm GSh-30-2 cannon fitted externally under the fuselage in a fixed-forward-firing installation. The rear gun emplacement was given 2 x 23mm GSh-23L cannons in a trainable mounting providing traversal and elevation for the gunner. Beyond these conventional weapons, internal bays were located within wing element to provide housing for six bombs total (three bombs per wing bay). Beyond this, ordnance would be fitted across eight external hardpoints with six featured under each wing and two under fuselage-centerline. On paper, this made the Il-102 a very well-armed attack platform by any measure.

As finalized, specifications for the aircraft went on to include a length of 17.5 meters, a wingspan of 16.9 meters, and a height of 5 meters. Empty eight was 28,000lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 48,500lb.

Ilyushin first flew their Il-102 on September 25th, 1982 but the attack contract had gone to Sukhoi for their Su-25 submission (it was introduced into service during July 1981). A second airframe followed but this was reserved solely for static testing and never went airborne. In flight testing, the Il-102 revealed a maximum speed of 590 miles per hour with a ferry range out to 1865 miles. Combat range was up to 435 miles.

The original, flyable example went on to complete some 250 flights before 1984 at which point development was finally concluded by the company. The Il-102 was revived in 1992 when it was displayed at the Mosaeroshow International Air Show for possible export sale - there were no takers. This example found a permanent home as a display piece at the Gromov Flight Research Institute and formally concluded the Il-102 attacker story - destined never to reach the level of stardom that its forefather had attained some decades earlier.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (590mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Ilyushin IL-102's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1982
Type: Close-Air Support (CAS) / Ground Attack Aircraft Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Ilyushin - Soviet Union
Production: 2
Global Operators:
Soviet Union (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Ilyushin IL-102 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
57.41 ft


Meters
17.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
55.45 ft


Meters
16.9 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
16.67 ft


Meters
5.08 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
28,660 lb


Kilograms
13,000 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
48,502 lb


Kilograms
22,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Klimov RD-33I turbofan engines developing 11,465lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
590 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
950 kph


Knots
513 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,864 mi


Kilometers
3,000 km


Nautical Miles
1,620 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,966 ft


Meters
7,000 m


Miles
4.35 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
10,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
3,048 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (14):

STANDARD:
1 x 30mm GSh-30-2 fixed, forward-firing cannon under the fuselage.
2 x 23mm GSh-23L cannons in remote-controlled tail turret.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 15,873lb of stores set across fourteen external hardpoints - six underwing (each) and two under-fuselage.

6 x Bombs held in two internal weapons bays held in each wing.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• IL-102 - Base Series Designation; two prototypes completed, one flyable, one static test article.