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Tanker aircraft

Mission and main tasks

The IL-78MK-90 tanker aircraft is designed to provide aerial refueling of various types of aircraft and refueling of aircraft on the ground.

Aerial refueling is done through three refueling points within visual range and given safe contact with a fuel-receiving aircraft.

The IL-78MK-90 can take off and land on concrete and unpaved runways. The IL-78MK-90 can be converted into transport, ambulance or fire-fighting versions in the field.

Airborne equipment

The IL-78MK-90 is equipped with modern avionics, including a new generation flight/sighting/navigation system. Its equipment enables the pilots to fly in any geographic and climatic conditions, day and night, and under normal and adverse weather conditions.

Refueling and special equipment

Refueling equipment of the IL-78MK-90 includes: two removable fuselage fuel tanks in a cargo hold, a fire detection and extinguishing system, a fuel dumping system, a short-range navigation system (provides mutual search and approach of a fuel-receiving plane and the tanker aircraft from a distance of up to 300 km), standard suspended refueling pods.

The main advantages

  • capability to refuel various types of aircraft (light, medium and heavy) in midair;
  • capability to provide simultaneous high-performance refueling of three aircraft in midair and up to four aircraft on the ground;
  • capability for refueling aircraft with two types of fuel, without causing damage to the fuel system;
  • capability to perform tasks in any geographic and climatic conditions, day and night, under normal and adverse weather conditions;
  • unpaved airstrip operating capability;
  • quick convertibility of the tanker into transport, ambulance and fire-fighting versions.
Principales características
Max takeoff weight, t
Cruising altitude, km
до 12,1
Speed, km/h
Flight altitude during aerial refueling, km
до 9,0
Speed during aerial refueling, km/h
Max amount of fuel transferred during aerial refueling, t:
at the line of 1,000 km
at the line of 2,000 km
at the line of 3,000 km
Max payload weight in transport version, t
Range in transport version (max 52 ton payload), km
Engine type
Takeoff run, m
Landing run, m
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