The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has completed the modernisation of another Ilyushin Il-76MD-M strategic transport, which will be handed over to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the near future.
The announcement was made by the Rostec State Corporation on December 30, which added that the Il-76MD-M has been integrated with the same equipment that is used on the new-generation Il-76MD-90A aircraft. The modernised platform has been upgraded with a glass cockpit, a new flight navigation system and an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sighting system. It also features new lighting and airborne transport equipment, as well as updated self-defence and communications-related systems.
The first deputy general director of the UAC, Sergei Yarkovoy, said: “The modernisation makes it possible to extend the service life of combat aircraft, [equipping] them with modern means of navigation, communication and protection, as well as [to] replace equipment that is no longer produced. Thus, we ensure and maintain the serviceability of the fleet of military transport aviation at the proper level.”
AirForces Intelligence data suggests that this will be the third Il-76MD-M strategic transport to be handed over to the Russian MoD. The first was delivered in March 2018, followed by the second in May 2019. Russia intends to procure 41 examples of the modernised strategic transport. Of this, just three production aircraft, along with a prototype, have been ordered so far.