Recently released imagery and reports in the Russian media suggest that the new Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A transport aircraft will be equipped with a defensive aids suite (DAS).
Data have previously pointed to an optional electronic countermeasure (ECM) fit for the IL-76 family being available since the 1980s, although many of the Russian Air Force’s aircraft do not appear to have been equipped with this capability.
The ECM pack was offered as an option on export versions of the aircraft type and infrared countermeasure (IRCM) equipment can be temporarily fitted to the rear fuselage or landing gear fairings of IL-76s, although this has only been seen during exercises.
The information regarding the DAS for the IL-76MD-90A was reported by Izvestia and provided by a source from the Aviastar-SP factory. Aviastar-SP has not released further details; however, imagery made available by the company shows that the fit has been installed on at least a single aircraft – the first airworthy IL-76MD-90A test aircraft – as early as January of this year.
According to a graphic accompanying the Izvetsia article, the aircraft is fitted with the President-S DAS, which includes an electro-optical (EO) sensor under the nose and at least six other sensors positioned below the cockpit, on the main undercarriage fairings, and on the wing-tips, and analysis of the Aviastar-SP photographs shows that there are further sensors in the tail and a unit under the body of the aircraft, aft of the front undercarriage.
The President-S system is part of the L370 Vitebsk DAS developed by NII Ekran and encompasses the optical countermeasure component of the full system. It is listed as containing an L370-5 directable IR countermeasure (DIRCM), an ultraviolet (UV) missile approach warner, a countermeasure dispensing system (CMDS), laser warning system, an ECU, and a multipurpose display panel on the flight deck.
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