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Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B)

Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft

Soviet Union | 1973

"The Ilyushin IL-22 Coot-B is an Airborne Command Post variant of the Soviet Cold War-era IL-18 airliner series."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/04/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Soviet-era Ilyushin IL-18 ("Coot") serves as the basic framework of the advanced IL-22 "Coot-B" form. The IL-22 is intended for use as an "Airborne Command Post" (ACP) in the ranks of the modern Russian Air Force and is equipped with the needed systems and subsystems for the role. The original IL-18 flew for the first time on July 4th, 1957 and entered service thereafter with production of the airframe running from 1957 until 1985 to which under 700 were ultimately manufactured by Ilyushin. The Il-18 also serves as the basis for the IL-38 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) platform of the Russian Naval Aviation (and is detailed elsewhere on this site).

The IL-22 "Coot-B" follows the another IL-18 offshoot, the IL-20 "Coot-A", with this airframe reserved for the COMmunications INTelligence / Electronics INTelligence (COMINT/ELINT) reconnaissance role - such has been the versatility of the IL-18 design for its many decades in the air.

The IL-22 variants were converted from the existing stock of IL-18 airliners and modified to house the needed sensors and processing systems for the role. Airborne Command Posts are effectively mobile Command and Control (C2) centers for the military sphere, preferably operating in uncontested airspaces with accompanying defensive-minded escorts, and providing direction to allied units in the air and/ or on the ground. Typically, this is made possible by sophisticated equipment fitted to the host platform.

The aircraft retains its tubular shape with the twin-seat cockpit overlooking the short, blunt nosecone. Circular windows dot the sides of the fuselage which houses the various required systems stations for the accompanying crew. The mainplanes are positioned low along the sides of the fuselage and are straight in their general shape. The aircraft is powered by no fewer than four turboprop engines and these are housed in long, streamlined nacelles seated over the mainplanes and protruding from the wing leading edges. Each drives four-bladed propeller units. A wheeled, retractable undercarriage is used for ground-running, the nose leg positioned under the cockpit with the main legs retracting (forwards) into the inboard engine nacelles. The nose leg is of double-bogie configuration with the main legs each given four wheels apiece to sustain the weight of the aircraft when on the ground.

The aircraft has a noticeable ventral bulging line running from nose to empennage among other protrusions found about its fuselage (particularly the dorsal line). This includes a podded sensor on the very tip of its tail plane.

The basic "IL-22" designation represents the start of the series as an operational solution for the Soviet Air Force. Following this mark as the modernized "IL-22M" which brought along with it improved equipment for the role.

From this the IL-22PP "Porubshchik" (NATO codename of "Mute" and casually known as "Fridge" to the Russians) offshoot was established as recently as 2017 as an Electronic Warfare (EW) platform doubling in the reconnaissance and signal jamming roles. The IL-22PP is noted for its side-fuselage bulges at both the forward and aft sections of the fuselage.

All retain the IL-18's four-engined, turboprop configuration and similar performance figures.

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April 2022 - An IL-22 has been claimed by Ukrainian forces in its fight against the invading Russians.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Ilyushin IL-22 Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft.
4 x Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines developing 4,250 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller engines.
419 mph
675 kph | 364 kts
Max Speed
39,370 ft
12,000 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
4,039 miles
6,500 km | 3,510 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Ilyushin IL-22 Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft.
117.8 ft
35.90 m
O/A Length
123.0 ft
(37.50 m)
O/A Width
33.5 ft
(10.20 m)
O/A Height
77,162 lb
(35,000 kg)
Empty Weight
143,300 lb
(65,000 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B) Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft .
None. Equipment reserved for the Airborne Command Post role.
Notable series variants as part of the Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B) family line.
IL-22 ("Coot-B") - Base Series Designation; Airborne Command Post variant of the IL-18 airliner line.
IL-22M - Upgraded mission equipment.
IL-22PP "Porubshchik" ("Mute") - Electronic Warfare (EW) / reconnaissance variant debuting in 2017.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,200 Units

Contractor(s): Ilyushin OKB - Soviet Union
National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Russia; Soviet Union (former) ]
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Image of the Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B)
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Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B) Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft.
Going Further...
The Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B) Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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