The formal rollout of the first Ulyanovsk-built Ilyushin Il-76 heralds the transfer of manufacture of the four-engine transport to Russia from Uzbekistan.

Production of the Il-76 at Tashkent effectively ended two decades ago with the Soviet Union’s collapse, leaving the TAPO plant to slowly complete its stock of 40 “white tails” from a total run of 960.

Renewed demand for an upgraded Il-76 by the Russian air force resulted in an ambitious plan to establish a new production line at the Aviastar plant at Ulyanovsk, home of the Tupolev Tu-204 airliner, and a parallel assembly plant for the giant Antonov An-124. The designation “Il-476” is loosely applied to this model.

“Externally similar to its predecessor, it is internally a completely new aircraft,” says Sergey Dementiev, general director of CJSC Aviastar-SP. “It has increased capacity and takeoff weight, a modern navigation system and glass cockpit technology. The new aircraft will be operable around the world, not only in conforming to the requirements of ICAO and Eurocontrol, but all future requirements.”