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Ilyushin Il-76

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Ilyushin Il-76
IL76 Landing Roll.jpg
IL-76 landing at Balad Air Base in 2005
Type Strategic airlifter
Manufacturer Ilyushin
Designed by Ilyushin
Maiden flight March 25 1971
Introduced June
Status Operational
Primary user Russian Air Force
Produced IL-76:
Number built 960
Variants Ilyushin Il-78
Beriev A-50
Ilyushin Il-76T
An Indian Air Force IL-76 in Hawaii, with IAF and US personnel. In background is a C-17 Globemaster III

The Ilyushin IL-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) is a 4-engined strategic airlifter designed in the Soviet Union and in widespread use in eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.


The aircraft was first conceived by Ilyushin in 1967 to meet a requirement for a freighter able to carry a payload of 40 tons (88,000 lb) over a range of 5,000 km (2,700 nautical miles (3,100 statute miles;) in less than six hours, able to operate from short and unprepared airstrips, and capable of coping with the worst weather conditions likely to be experienced in Siberia and the Soviet Union's Arctic regions. The basic layout of the plane was similar to the U.S.-built Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, but the new design had a larger cargo hold area and more powerful engines to achieve the desired performance. It first flew on March 25, 1971, and is still in production in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

According to Venik's Aviation pages online, in 2000, FEMA requested two Il-76 waterbombers to respond to Los Alamos area wildfires. Venik further reported this order was countermanded by the U.S. Forest Service.

On August 29, 2005, the day before the levees of New Orleans gave way to the forces of Hurricane Katrina, the Russian Federation offered humanitarian aid to the United States. Two (2) EMERCOM IL-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock, Arkansas September 8. This marks the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America. A second Emergency Situations ministry IL-76 first-aid shipment, specially arranged with the U.S. leadership, departed Russia for Little Rock September 14.

India also used an IL-76 to deliver aid on September 13, 2005 for Katrina victims.

The Il-76 is also in use as an airborne tanker, otherwise known as a refueller (Il-78), and a waterbomber. Its airframe was used as a base for the Beriev A-50 'Mainstay' AWACS aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force gave the Il-76 the nickname "141-ski", due to the fact that it looks is similar to Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. Il-76TD, TF and D are employed by U.S. Government worldwide.[citation needed]

Incidents and accidents


Specifications (Il-76D)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Capacity: 40,000 kg (IL-76), 48,000 kg (IL-76M/T), 50,000 kg IL-76MD/TD), 60,000 kg (IL-76MF/TF)
  • Length: 46.59 m (152 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 50.5 m (165 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 300.0 m² (3,229.2 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 72,000 kg (IL-76), 92,000 kg (IL-76MD/TD), 104,000 kg (IL-76MF/TF) (159,000 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 157,000 kg (IL-76), 170,000 kg (IL-76M/T), 190,000 kg IL-76MD/TD), 210,000 kg (IL-76MF/TF) (346,000 lb (IL-76))
  • Powerplant:Soloviev D-30KP turbofans, 118 kN (26,500 lbf)) each


  • Maximum speed: 900 km/h (490 kt, 560 mph)
  • Range: (with max payload) 3,650 km (IL-76), 4,000 km (IL-76M/T), 4,400 km (IL-76MD/TD), 4,200 km (IL-76MF/TF) (nm, mi)
  • Service ceiling: 13,000 m (42,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 566.7 kg/m² (IL-76M/T), 633.3 kg/m² (IL-76MD/TD) (116.05 lb/ft² (IL-76M/T), 129.72 lb/ft² (IL-76MD/TD))
  • Thrust/weight:
  • minimal landing run: 450 m (with thrust reversal)


  • Guns: 2× 23 mm cannon in radar-directed manned turret at base of tail

Some military models have 2 hardpoints under each outer wing capable of supporting 500 kg bombs.

Military variants

  • Il-76D ('D' for Desantniy, Десантный - "for paratroopers") has a gun turret in the tail for defense purposes.
  • Il-76M - Transport version.
  • Il-76MD - Transport version.
  • Il-76MF - Stretched military version.
  • Il-76PP - Il-76MD-based radio jammer
  • SKIP (СКИП - Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Point) - Il-76/A-50 based aircraft initially built to support Kh-55 cruise missile tests.

Civil variants

  • Il-76T - ('T' for Transport, Транспортный) unarmed civil cargo transport version. NATO code-name Candid-A. It first flew on November 4, 1978.
  • Il-76TD - The civil equivalent of the Il-76MD, first flew in 1982.
  • Il-76TF - Civil transport stretched version with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines. It is the civil version of the Il-76MF
  • Il-76P - Firefighting aircraft. The Il-76 waterbomber is a VAP-2 1.5 hour install/removal tanking kit conversion. The Il-76 can carry 11,000 U.S. gallons (41,600 liters) of water; three times the capacity of the C-130 Hercules. Since this kit can be installed on any Il-76, the designation Il-76TP, Il-76TDP are also used when those versions of the Il-76 are converted into waterbombers. The Il-76P was first unveiled in 1990

Foreign Variants

Foreign operators of Il-76 has adopted the airframe as the base their own AWACS and other modifications, and these included:


Domestic Chinese AWACS conversion of Il-76 after the setback of the A-50I.

The current KJ-2000 AWACS in Chinese service is equipped with a domestic Active Electronically Scanned Array active phased array radar system similar to the Swedish Ericsson's Erieye radar. The radar is designed by the Research Institute of Electronic Technology (also more commonly known as the 14th Institute) at Nanjing, and it utilizes the experience gained from the 14th Institute's earlier indigenously developed Type H/LJG-346 SAPARS (Shipborne Active Phased Array Radar System) that was completed in 1998 (the same Type H/LJG-346 SAPARS was also the predecessor of the active phased array radar system onboard PLAN Lanzhou class destroyer). Chinese claim that the domestic radar is superior to the Israeli radar and it can track more targets at greater range. The radar is arranged in the same way as that of A-50I.

CFTE Engine Testbed

China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) currently operates a flying testbed converted from a Russian-made Il-76MD jet transport aircraft to serve as a flying testbed for future engine development programmes. The first engine to be tested on the aircraft is the WS-10A “Taihang” turbofan, currently being developed as the powerplant for China’s indigenous J-10 and J-11 fighter aircraft. The #76456 Il-76MD, acquired by the AVIC 1 from Russia in the 1990s, is currently based at CFTE’s flight test facility at Yanliang, Shaanxi Province.

Adnan I

Iraqi development (with French assistance) with fibreglass-reinforced plastic radome over the antenna of the Thomson-CSF Tiger G surveillance radar with a maximum detection range of 189 nm (217.5 miles; 350 km). Nonoperational after the Gulf War.


Il-76 operators (countries only operating civil aircraft are in blue)

Both military and civil operators in 38 countries have operated 850+ Il-76 in large numbers. In the list below, known current operators are listed in bold.


See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

de:Iljuschin Il-76 el:Il-76 fa:ایلیوشین-۷۶ fr:Iliouchine Il-76 Candid hr:Iljušin Il-76 it:Ilyushin Il-76 he:איליושין Il-76 nl:Iljoesjin Il-76 ja:Il-76 (航空機) ru:Ил-76 sr:Иљушин Ил-76 fi:Iljušin Il-76 vi:Il-76 th:อิลยูชิน อิล-76