Air Platforms

MAKS 2019: Russia unveils new aerial tankers

02 September 2019

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) unveiled new aerial tankers at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show that was held in Zhukovskiy close to Moscow from 27 August –1 September.

The company presented its new Ilyushin Il-78M-90A tanker based on the Il-76MD-90A heavy airlifter. “The Il-78M-90A is the first aerial tanker produced from scratch in Russia,” said a UAC representative, explaining that previous Ilyushin tankers were built in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The Il-78M-90A has been fitted with a new fuel transfer system, the pump performance of which has increased fuel flow by some 10% compared with the existing system on the Il-78M. Trials of the system are set to be completed before the end of the year.

The export version of the Il-78M-90A is designated as the Il-78MK-90A. According to UAC, the aircraft is in fact a multirole tanker-transport that, depending on range, transfers 47 – 78 tonnes of fuel or has a payload of 60 tonnes. The Il-78MK-90A has a maximum take-off weight of 210 tonnes and a ferry range of 9,300 km. It is powered by four PS-90A-76 jet engines that allow the tanker to refuel other aircraft at an altitude of 2,000 m – 9,150 m and at a speed of 450 – 650 km/h.

UAC presented its new Ilyushin Il-78M-90A aerial tanker at MAKS 2019. (Nikolai Novichkov)UAC presented its new Ilyushin Il-78M-90A aerial tanker at MAKS 2019. (Nikolai Novichkov)

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