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Mladenov A, Jun-2013. The Rise of the New Candid, Air International Vol. 84 No. 6

Mladenov A, Jun-2013. The Rise of the New Candid, Air International Vol. 84 No. 6

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Published by: Foro Militar General on Jun 16, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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uring 2012 theIlyushin Il-76MD-90A emergedas Russia’s mostimportant militaryairlifter programme. It hasreinforced this position in 2013with the strong support of theRussian Ministry of Defence,which is keen to develop andpromote national capabilitiesfor the design and productionof heavyweight ramp-equippedmilitary and civil transports.The Il-76MD-90A is the latestand most radical upgradeof the Il-76 transport (NATOcodename
) and firstflew on September 22, 2012,at Ulyanovsk-Vostochnii airfieldin the Ulyanovsk Oblast. Twoweeks later the aircraft wasofficially displayed in the air in front of President Vladimir Putin, who also witnessed thesignature of the first contract for the Russian Air Force (RuAF).Covering 39 aircraft to bedelivered between 2014 and2020, the deal is worth 140billion roubles (approximately$4.5 billion) and is the largestmilitary aerospace procurementof its kind since Russia re-emerged from the old SovietUnion in 1991.At the October 5, 2012ceremony, President Putinpromised support from theRussian Government to fund theaircraft’s development and flighttest programme, guaranteeingsignificant follow-on orders for thetype – not only for the RuAF, butalso from other major governmentorganisations operating heavytransports. Russian military andgovernment operators expectorders for as many as 100 new-generation Il-76/Il-78s will eventuallybe placed, including at least onefor the Federal Security Service andfour for the Ministry of EmergencySituations, while more than 30 willbe sold to the Chinese military.
Developmentand Trials
The contract signature at theAviastar-SP production plantin Ulyanovsk, endorsed by themost powerful man in Russia,was the culmination of six yearsof effort to develop the new
variant and launch seriesproduction at a plant in Russia.The government resolution inDecember 2006 to launch theIl-76MD-90A programme calledfor a radical redesign of theproven
and the creationof a new production line for thetype at Aviastar-SP. The designauthority for the Il-76MD-90Ais the Moscow-based IlyushinAviation Complex, a fully-ownedsubsidiary of Russia’s UnitedAircraft Corporation – TransportAircraft division.By the time of contractsignature Aviastar-SP hadmade considerable progress.In addition to producingthe first airworthy pre-seriesexample (line number 01-02),the company had delivereda ground-test airframe toZhukovsky near Moscow for static trials with the TsentralniyAerogidrodinamicheskiy Institut(TsAGI, the Central Aero andHydrodynamic Institute) andbegun manufacturing parts
and assemblies for three moreproduction-standard aircraft.The three aircraft are requiredfor flight test and evaluationphases. Thanks to work alreadyundertaken on the re-enginedIl-76MD-90 in the 1990s andthe stretched-fuselage Il-76MFbuilt for the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the numbers of factoryflight tests were reduced, as dataalready gathered was applicableto the new variant.According to Ilyushin’sGeneral Manager, Viktor Livanov, the three-phase trialsprogramme for the extensively-reworked
includes22 initial test flights to beundertaken by the designauthority followed by a longer phase of operational testingwith some 50 to 60 flights (to becompleted by the third quarter of 2013). Two Il-76MD-90Aswill be dedicated to state trialswith the RuAF’s State Flight-Test Centre at Tchkalovsky near Moscow in 2014. There they willundergo operational evaluationto judge the type’s suitability asa troop transport and a platformfrom which to drop parachutists,cargo pallets and combatvehicles. The trials are expectedto be completed by the thirdquarter of 2014.On January 28 this year,the first Il-76MD-90A madeits initial long-range test flightfrom Ulyanovsk-Vostok. Duringthe 4 hour 25 minute sortie theaircraft flew at a cruise altitudeof 10,000m (33,000ft). Theflight marked the conclusion of the initial testing phase, whichcomprised powerplant checks,evaluation of the aircraft’s stabilityand control characteristics, andmissed approach procedures.Two days later the transportwas ferried from Ulyanovskto Ilyushin’s flight test base atZhukovsky near Moscow for morecomplex missions with higher crew workloads.
The relocation of the
production line from Tashkentin Uzbekistan to Ulyvanovskwas a major undertaking.The predecessors of theTashkentskoye AviatsionnoyeProizdstvennoye Obedinenieimeni V P Chakalova (TAPOiCh– Tashkent Aircraft ProductionEnterprise named for Valery PChkalov) had produced Il-76ssince 1973, but following thebreak-up of the Soviet Unionthe facility was beset withmany of the problems thatafflicted the aircraft industry inthe region as it adjusted to thenew free market without thesupport of large state orders.Its failure to fulfil a Chineseorder for 34 Il-76MDs andfour Il-78MKs handled by theRussian defence export agency,Rosoboronexport, forcedthe authorities to consider alternative production sourcesfor the aircraft. Upgradedversions of the
have alsoappeared on the market fromcompanies based outside Russia.In response Russia launcheda national Il-76 upgradeprogramme and planned toestablish an assembly line for the
Alexander Mladenov reviews Russia’s most important military transport programme – the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A and its Il-78-90 tanker derivative 
M ai  n :  S  t   ani   s l   av a en ov ,I  n s  e t   : l   ex an d  eMl   a d  en ov
type at the Aviastar-SP acility.The new version received theproject designation Product 476and Ilyushin assigned the new in-service designation Il-76MD-90Abeore its maiden ight. Themain improvements included anew, two-spar wing, Kupol-III-76M(A) digital avionics, an eight-screen KSEIS glass cockpit, SAU-1T-2B digital autopilot, BPSN-2satellite navigation system andTA-12A auxiliary power unit(APU), while the distinctive rear gun turret o the earlier 
 was deleted. Compared to arecently produced ‘classic’ Il-76MD built by TAPOiCH, around70% o the onboard avionics andequipment in the Il-76MD-90Aare new.The Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76turboan was selected to power the modernised aircrat. Theengine had already been provenon two production-standard Il-76variants – the stretched-uselageIl-76MF military transport and thecivilian-certifcated Il-76TD-90– as well as on a re-engined Il-76MD used or developmentaltrials. The new uel-efcientengine oers around 10% lower uel consumption and a rangeextended by 18% to 5,000km(2,700nm) with a 52-tonnepayload. The more powerul PS-90A-76 also brought signifcantimprovements in airfeldperormance, reducing thetake-o run to 1,600m (5,280t).Il-76MD-90As can operate rompaved and unpaved runwayslocated at up to 3,000m (9,840t)above sea level in high ambienttemperatures.New digital three-dimensionaldesign processes introducedby Aviastar-SP also enabledthe introduction o a number o uselage and system alterationsin a bid to save weight, simpliyproduction and maintenanceand reduce direct operatingcosts. Improvements to reducethe aircrat’s empty weightincluded removing the acility todetach the wings on the ground,making them lighter – which, incombination with strengtheningo the undercarriage, allowed or a maximum payload increase rom40 to 60 tonnes and maximumtake-o weight (MTOW) increaserom 190 to 210 tonnes (418,000to 463,000lb) compared to theIl-76MD.The Il-76MD-90A has,however, retained the principaloperational capabilities o itspredecessors – being able todeliver military cargoes, troopsor vehicles to austere and shortpaved or unpaved airstripsin extreme environmentalconditions where no groundsupport or navigational aids areavailable. The new
cantake o rom an unpaved runway(capable o bearing loads o upto 2.3lb/sq t [7kg/cm
]) within1,800m (5,940t) while carrying a30-tonne (66,100lb) payload.The airrame design eaturesextensive high-lit devices, arugged landing gear, a newAPU and sophisticated onboardcargo handling equipment.Airrame design lie is 30 years,30,000 ight hours and 10,000landings. The cargo hold can beconverted or a variety o specialmissions within one-and-a-hal to two hours. Confgurationsinclude accommodation or up to 225 troops on twodecks; casualty evacuation andprovision o medical treatment(including surgical procedures)while in ight; or being set up tofght fres as a water bomber.
The design and developmentprogramme or the Il-76MD-90A
Aviadvigatel’s PS-90A-76 turboanengine was selected to power theIl-76MD-90A and oers around10% lower uel consumptioncompared to the original PS-90-76version.
The rst Il-76MD-90ARA-78650 made its maiden fight onSeptember 22, 2012, at Ulyanovsk- Vostochnii aireld.
The Il-76MD-90A eatures an eight-screen KSEIScockpit.
The fight-test crew o thr IL-76MD-90A ater the type’smaiden fight at Ulyanovsk onSeptember 22, 2012
All imagesAlexander Mladenov 

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