Contract Made for Large-Scale Modernization of First Batch of Il-76MD Military Transport Aircraft into Il-76MD-MThe Russian Ministry of Defence and Ilyushin Aviation Complex have made a contract for large-scale modernization of the first batch of Il-76MD military transport aircraft (Russian Aerospace Forces) into Il-76MD-M.
The works are to be performed at the Il OJSC production facility in the city of Zhukovsky.
Il-76MD-M is a project of Il-76MD aircraft modernization developed by Il OJSC In accordance with the request for proposal approved by the Russian Air Force in order to modernize Il-76MD heavy military transport aircraft, as well as Il-78 and Il-78M refueling aircraft in service.
As part of the modernization project, the aircraft will be equipped with a new pilot and navigation system; the lighting, assault, and utility-type equipment, as well as defence and communication means, will be replaced. In the fore body, an optoelectronic sighting system will be installed, operating both in the infra-red and optical bands. During the modernization, some of the components are interchangeable with promising Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft and Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft. The aircraft service life was extended up to 40 years.
In November 2016, the first experimental modernized Il-76MD-M aircraft is scheduled to undergo joint State testing.
The first flight of the first modernized Il-76MD-M military transport aircraft took place on 28 February 2016. During the first flight, the aircraft was operated by the crew commanded by the chief pilot of Ilyushin Aviation Complex, Hero of the Russian Federation, honoured Russian test pilot Nikolai Kuimov. The flight was performed from the airfield of Gromov Flight Research Institute in the city of Zhukovsky, Moscow region.