"Lat year, we received two such planes. This year, we plan to receive three aircraft… The plane's thrust-weight ratio and chassis have been enhanced. It has been equipped with more modern avionics systems. It exceeds the Il-76MD in terms of carrying capacity. The capabilities of the new aircraft have been increased by 30-40 percent," Benediktov told reporters.
According to the commander, Russia's Military Transport Aviation also plans to receive the first two Il-76MD-M planes in 2018.
"We are actively working on modernization of the Il-76MD basic aircraft. We are finishing tests at the enterprise, and next year, we plan to receive the first two models of the modernized Il-76MD-M aircraft, which will later replace the existing ones. This is a kind of an intermediate machine between Il-76MD and Il-76MD-90A," Benediktov said.
The Il-76MD-90A is a deeply modernized version of Russia's world-famous Il-76 aircraft, featuring a fully-digital flight control system, new avionics and PS-90A-76 engines with improved fuel efficiency systems. The aircraft was designed for parachuting and landing of military personnel, military equipment, cargoes, fuel and containers.