|Weights (kg) and Loads|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)||633||700|
|Cruising||750 to 800|
|Refueling||400 to 600|
|Operational, full load||2500|
|Refueling||2000 to 9000|
|Cabin LxWxH (m3)||20.0x 3.41x 3.46||n/a|
Flight probe-and-drogue refueling tanker based on Il-76MD military transport. Three-point (sometimes two-point) UPAZ-1A Sakhalin refueling system allows to serve one heavy bomber from the ventral point or two aircraft of MiG-31 or Su-24 simultaneously from the wing-mount points. Approach of the receiver aircraft is provided by the Kupol navigation system and RSBN short-range system, allowing all-weather day/night mutual detection and approach from distances up to 300km.
Refueling process is monitored by operator, occupying gunner's position of the Il-76. His workplace is equipped with optical rear view system, in addition to radio-technical and light signal equipment.
Once connected, refueled aircraft can receive up to 57720kg of fuel from the wing tanks (85720kg from both wing and fuselage tanks) at rate 900 to 2200l/min.
While early production Il-78 had removable fuselage tanks and could be used as a military transport, later improved version Il-78M can not be converted to transport.
Service career started in 1987, replacing outdated M-4 tankers that stay in service since the 1960's. List of 'client' aircraft includes bombers (Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M), Il-78's AWACS sibling A-50, maritime patrol Tu-142 and Il-38, Su-24M tactical bombers and MiG-31 and Su-30 interceptors. This list is expanding gradually because most of modern aircraft entering service carry refueling probes, like Su-34 interdiction aircraft, Su-30MKI and Su-35 multi-role tactical fighters.
|Created October 31, 1996
Modified September 07, 1999