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    Military official says Russia will supply 40 Ilyushin aircraft to China

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    MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is expected to supply about 40 Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft (Candid) and Il-78 fuel dispensers (Midas) to China, a Russian defense sector official said, citing Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.

    "The assembly will be done at the Tashkent-based plant (in Uzbekistan(, with 90% of component parts to be supplied by Russia," the official said.

    He said the contract would cost about an estimated $1 billion.

    The contract stipulates for the supply of mainly Il-76s, which are designed to carry large amounts of cargo, equipment and personnel. They can be fitted with extra equipment for special missions.

    The aircraft can drop heavy materiel weighing up to 21 tons and heavy equipment weighing up to 43 tons. Its cruise speed is 750-800 kmph.

    During the Soviet era, Il-76s were built in Tashkent and sold to Russian civil air companies (Il-76T and Il-76TD modifications), Libya, Syria, Iraq and India.

    Today, the Il-76 prevails in Russia's transport aircraft fleet.

    Il-78s are designed for aerial refueling of combat aircraft as a modification of the Il-76. Its short-range navigation system, Vstrecha, facilitates mutual search and approach to a combat plane at a distance of 300 km (187.5 miles) in adverse weather conditions in the daytime and at night.

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