February 5, 2013 - 21:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Russian Air Force's Military Transport Aviation (MTA) will receive a total of 48 Ilyushin Il-476 heavy transport planes by 2020, rather than the previously stated 39, its commander Col. Gen. Vladimir Benediktov said, according to RIA Novosti.
The Russian Defense Ministry said last October it had signed a contract worth about 140 billion rubles ($4 billion) with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) for the delivery of 39 Il-476 planes by 2020.
“The MTA will receive its first series-produced [Il-476] planes by 2014, and a total of 48 by 2020,” Benediktov said.
The Il-476, (also known as the Il-76-MD-90A) is a significantly modernized variant of the Il-76 Candid transport plane, featuring a fully-digital flight control system, new avionics and PS-90A-76 engines with improved fuel efficiency systems.
A prototype of the plane carried out a maiden flight from the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk in September and will undergo a comprehensive test program for another year.
The Russian military has not received significant numbers of new large transport planes in the past 20 years.