Il-76MD-90A Heavy Airlifter Makes Debut in Saudi Arabia

The United Aircraft Corporation presented the modernized Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft at the international exhibition World Defense Show 2024 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).

The IL-76MD-90A heavy transport aircraft developed by Ilyushin Design Bureau, is a deep modernization of the well-proven IL-76MD aircraft. Despite the external similarity with its predecessors, the new modernized version of the IL-76MD-90A aircraft is fundamentally different. More than 70% of aircraft systems have been updated on the aircraft, which made it possible to increase the payload from 40 to 60 tons, increase the flight range and improve flight safety.

The aircraft implements the ’glass’ cockpit principle. Information is displayed on the digital cockpit on 9 multifunctional screens, which replaced the analogue instruments installed on the previous generation of transport aircraft. The new communications kit provides high quality communications and data exchange, including through satellite systems, and the latest defense system provides protection against various enemy weapons.

The IL-76MD-90A is equipped with new, more powerful PS-90A-76 engines, which provide improved take-off, landing and cruise performance, increased payload and flight range, increased efficiency and high environmental requirements for noise and emissions of harmful substances. The aircraft also features a new strengthened wing with reduced weight and increased service life.

The IL-76MD-90A also has a modernized landing gear, which is now designed for a take-off weight of 210 tons (including 60 tons of load). Thanks to this, the aircraft can operate from equipped and unequipped airfields, on concrete and dirt runways.

New wheels with increased energy intensity are used, which allows the aircraft to operate in the most severe climatic conditions at extremely low and high temperature conditions. The new upgraded landing gear system has also improved its characteristics, including indication and control on the ground and in flight.

The IL-76MD-90A has a unique set of airborne transport equipment, which has been improved through the automation of loading systems and the use of an auxiliary power unit of increased power with an increased period of continuous operation and automatic control. The new equipment does not require any auxiliary mechanisms or people for loading and unloading cargo. All functions can be provided by a crew of 6 people.

The IL-76MD-90A is also equipped with a new wireless mobile control panel for cargo loading and securing system. Now the operator is not constrained in his movements, he can come close to the cargo or carry out loading and unloading operations outside the cargo compartment.

As a result of the modernization, a video recording system was installed, which allows increasing the situational awareness of the crew during the flight or on the ground. Several surveillance cameras record everything that happens in the cockpit, in the cargo compartment, and on the ramp.

If necessary, the IL-76MD-90A can be equipped with fire extinguishing equipment, as well as medical modules for evacuating people in emergency situations with the ability to provide qualified medical care. Re-equipment does not require a large amount of work and can be carried out at the airfield.

A unique feature of the IL-76MD90A is its versatility. The use of new design methods and production technology provides the opportunity for further effective modernization of the aircraft and the creation on its basis of a whole family of special-purpose aircraft.

Today, IL-76 aircraft are in demand more than ever and are successfully used for a variety of tasks, including special operations and paratroopers. They are capable of transporting armed forces personnel anywhere in the world, transporting cargo for various purposes both within the country and around the world, and extinguishing natural and man-made fires. / Russian Aviation & Military Guide (RA&MG)

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