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Ilyushin IL-22 (Coot-B)

Airborne Command Post (ACP) Aircraft [ 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.

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


Service Year

Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

In Active Service.


National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union Russia; Soviet Union (former)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.

Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Survivability enhanced by way of onboard electronic or physical countermeasures enacted by the aircraft or pilot/crew.
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Beyond a pilot, the aircraft takes advantage of additional crew specialized in specific functions aboard the aircraft.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

117.8 ft
(35.90 m)
123.0 ft
(37.50 m)
33.5 ft
(10.20 m)
Empty Wgt
77,162 lb
(35,000 kg)
143,300 lb
(65,000 kg)
Wgt Diff
+66,139 lb
(+30,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Ilyushin IL-22 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Ilyushin IL-22 production variant)
Installed: 4 x Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines developing 4,250 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller engines.
Max Speed
419 mph
(675 kph | 364 kts)
Cruise Speed
388 mph
(625 kph | 337 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+31 mph
(+50 kph | 27 kts)
39,370 ft
(12,000 m | 7 mi)
4,039 mi
(6,500 km | 3,510 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Ilyushin IL-22 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Equipment reserved for the Airborne Command Post role.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
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.

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