Moscow: The Russian Air Force will start receiving Il-476 heavy transport planes in 2012, the commander of the Russian Air Force’s military transport aviation said on Friday.
The Il-476 is a significantly modernized version of Russia’s Il-76 Candid transport plane, featuring a fully-digital flight control system, new avionics and PS-90A-76 engines with improved fuel efficiency systems.
“I think the Il-476, which will eventually replace the Il-76, will start arriving in the military transport aviation sometime in 2012,” Lt. Gen. Viktor Kachalkin said.
The plane will be built at the Urals-based Aviastar-SP aircraft-manufacturing plant.
The Russian Defense Ministry plans to buy at least 38 Il-476 in cargo and aerial tanker versions in line with the state arms procurement program for the period of 2011-2020.
According to various sources, there are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including An-12 Cub, An-72 Coaler, An-22 Cock, An-124 Condor and Il-76 Candid planes. Most of the aircraft entered service in the 1960s and 1970s and are considered outdated by modern safety and noise pollution standards.