Russia rolls out first IL-78M-90A Tanker Aircraft

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The first IL-78M-90A tanker aircraft for the Russian Aerospace Forces was rolled out from the Aviastar-SP production facility in the Ulyanovsk Oblast on 29 November.

The IL-78M-90A is an improved version of Soviet tanker aircraft Il-78 based on Il-76MD-90А military transport aircraft. The new aircraft powered by four PS-90A-76 turbofan engines instead of D-30KP-2.

The modernization program focuses on the replacement of flight, navigation, radio communications, lighting and other equipment deemed obsolete that will be removed adding modern avionics.

The aircraft will allow simultaneous fuelling of two front-line planes (Su-27, MiG-29) with wing-mounted fuelling units. The tail unit allows refueling of long-range and special-purpose aircraft. Also when used on the ground the Il-78M-90A will allow simultaneous refueling of four aircraft.

This article is written by Dylan Malyasov (Editor-in-chief at Defence Blog)

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