MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry will receive the first in series modernized Ilyushin Il-76-MD-M military transport aircraft before January ends, the Ilyushin Bureau’s Chief Designer Nikolai Talikov said in an interview with TASS on Saturday.
"The Armed Forces have asked us to modernize Il-76MD, which they exploit, and we have made the first in series Il-76MD-M," he said. "The client tested it in late December, last year, the aircraft is ready for work, though we still have to formalize certain paperwork. Within January, the Defense Ministry will receive the first modernized aircraft."
In 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry sealed the first contract to upgrade Il-76MD military transport aircraft to the Il-76MD-M version. The aircraft’s flight and navigation, communications and defense equipment have been modernized. The planes will have the elements of a glass cockpit, and their assigned lifetime thus will be prolonged to 40 years.
The modernization program for operating Il-76MDs began in 2014.