George1 wrote:Prototype tanker Il-78M-90A on flight tests in Ulyanovsk. The newest air tanker is based on the Il-76MD-90A. The machine can be converted from a tanker to a military transport or fire fighting aircraft.
This airplane is basically a military transport with with internal installation for aerial refueling and removable deposits to leave free the cargo hold , is a double purpose aircraft, as the case of Hércules or A-400M
Probably will be deployed in the regiments of VTA (Military Transport Aviation) as complement for the Il-76MD-90A and Il-76MD-M
For the moment there are contracts for:
39 Il-76MD-90A (36 for 2 regiments/4 squadrons + 3 for 610 TsBPiPLS)
41 Il-76MD-M (36 for 2 regiments/4 squadrons + 4 for 610 TSBPiPLS. the other is used for test for the moment)
Now, there are 5 VTA regiments of IL-76 so is necesary other regiment/2 squadrons , that could be of Il-78M-90A
If in the future is opened a 6th VTA regiment probably will increase the ammount of Il-78M-90A to 36
The tanker regiment of Ryazan have 12 Il-78M and 6 Il-78 that are single use tankers, but is planned modernize to standard Il-78M2 , so will be in service for other 15 years or more , probably for the use with Strategic Bombers
The replacement could be later with a MRTT type
Hole wrote:Possible tanker mix (some years down the road):
15 - 20 Il-78M
40 - 50 Il-78M-90A
20 - 25 Il-96-400M
40 - 50 Tu-214
40 - 50 Il-276
The Il-96-400M for strategic aircraft, Tu-214 for strategic/tactical/naval aircraft, both can only be used from "good" airfields/airports.
The Il-78M/M-90A and Il-276 mostly for tactical aircraft, with the capabiliy to be used even from dirtstrips.
Just my opinion.
in what parallel universe would that happen?
This is not realistic.
The 18 Il-78/Il-78M will be upgtraded to Il-78M2 , later could be replaced for Il-96-400TZ or a versión of Tu-214
Tjis airplanes are parte of Long Range Aviation, for service the strategic bombers
The Il-78;-90A will be for tactical use and probably one squadron each Air Army
In total 60 tankers:
20 Il-78M2 replaced for 20 Il-96-400TZ (18 for one regiment + 2 for instruction)
40 Il-78M-90A (36 for 2 regiments + 4 for instruction)
If you compare that with 24 tankers of RAF or less of France and Germany of very reasonable