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At the Dubai Airshow, which took place in mid-November, Russian officials presented the updated version of the Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter. This aircraft was designed to transport cargo and personnel. This was the first international trade show appearance for the Il-76MD-90A.

Like many planes designed in the Soviet era, the Il-76 has glass at the bottom of the nose to give navigators a good view. Russian officials have confirmed that the new upgraded aircraft has been offered to many current Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter operators, including India, which is looking to replace older ones. The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates 17 Ilyushin Il-76s that were procured in the mid-1980s and are expected to be completely retired from service by 2035 onwards.

The export-oriented version of the aircraft, the Il-76MD-90A(E), features a deeply upgraded modification of the renowned Soviet-designed Il-76. It has received a new engine, an improved wing structure, and a ‘glass cockpit’; it also features an extended flight range and payload capacity.
“This is a new aircraft meeting all modern requirements, which will become the basis of Russian aviation,” said Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec.

One of the main differences from the Il-76’s previous models is the use of more powerful PS-90A-76 turbofan engines. These engines provide improved take-off and landing, cruising performance, increased payload, longer flight range, increased efficiency by reducing fuel consumption, and meet high environmental requirements for noise and emissions of harmful substances.

India is a potential customer for the updated Il-76. The IAF is looking to replace its older Il-76s with a new generation of heavy-lift transport aircraft. The Il-76MD-90A is one of the contenders for this contract.

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