Russian military transport aircraft manufacturers are hoping to meet India’s airlift needs. Thus, a collision between the Airbus C-295 and the Russian Il-76MD-90A is looming.

While no formal request has been made from New Delhi to Moscow for a potential purchase, it’s prudent not to dismiss the possibility just yet. Let’s keep in mind that the Indian Air Force [IAF] utilizes 17 Ilyushin Il-76s. These were acquired back in the mid-1980s and are projected for full decommission by 2035 or later.

The Il-76 models have continuously improved over time, with one key distinction being the incorporation of the potent PS-90A-76 turbofan engines. These incredible engines significantly enhance take-off and landing performance, while also boosting cruise efficiency.

Furthermore, they ensure increased payload capacity, extend the flight range, and exhibit higher efficiency by consuming less fuel. Not only do they meet high environmental standards by minimizing noise and emissions, they also elevate the overall performance of the aircraft to a new level.

The Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A is a multi-purpose, fixed-wing, four-engine turbofan strategic military transport aircraft designed to transport and airdrop military equipment, personnel, and cargo. It is a modernized version  of the Il-76, which was designed by the Soviets. The Il-76MD-90A is made in Russia with domestically sourced components. 

The Il-76MD-90A has a 30-year lifespan and can log up to 30,000 flying hours. It has a new engine and an improved wing. The aircraft can be converted into an ambulance or fire-fighting version. 

Here are some specifications for the Il-76MD-90A: 

Crew: 5
Capacity: Il-76MD-90A 60,000 kg (132,277 lb)
Length: 46.59 m (152 ft 10 in)
Wingspan: 50.5 m (165 ft 8 in)
Height: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 300 m2 (3,200 sq ft)
Empty weight: 92,500 kg (203,928 lb)
Max take-off weight: 190,000 kg (418,878 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Soloviev D-30KP turbofans, 117.7 kN (26,500 lbf) thrust each


Maximum speed: 900 km/h (560 mph, 490 kn)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.82
Range: 4,400 km (2,700 mi, 2,400 nmi) Il-76MD/TD with 52,000 kg (114,640 lb) payload.
Ferry range: 9,300 km (5,800 mi, 5,000 nmi) Il-76MD-90A with no payload.
Take-Off Distance: 1,500–2,000 meters (4921 to 6561 feet)
Landing Distance: 930–1,000 meters (3051 to 3281 feet)
Service ceiling: 13,000 m (43,000 ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.252
Minimum landing run: 450 m (1,476 ft) with thrust reversers
Guns: 2× 23 mm cannon in radar-directed manned turret at base of tail
Bombs: Some military models have 2 hardpoints under each outer wing capable of supporting 500 kg bombs.

India is emerging as a prospective buyer for the revamped Il-76. The Indian Air Force [IAF] is on the hunt for a new generation of heavy transport planes, aiming to replace their aging Il-76s.