Il-82 Airborne Command Post [or maybe AWACS]
Janes reports that the service designation Il-82 has been applied to the Il-76VPK Airborne command post or airborne communications relay (Vozdushnyye Komandnyye Punkt: Airborne Command Post) adaptation of Il-76MD known as version 65C. Two examples (SSSR- [later RA-]76450 and 76451) delivered to Zhukovsky after modifications 22 September and 30 November 1987. The two aircraft (SSSR-76450 and -76451) were photographed at Zhukovsky Flight Research Center 1992, assigned to 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division at Chkalovsky. Two examples remained in the inventory in late 1999, bu tby 2007 only one was believed to remain airworthy.
Design features include a large canoe-shaped fairing above fuselage forward of wings, containing satcom/IR equipment; a ventral canoe-shape radome and strakes; five small antennae above center-section; other small antennae, and air intake scoops, under front fuselage and at rear of main landing gear fairings; long and shallow fairing forward of dorsal fin on each side at top of fuselage; large downward inclined flat plate antenna on each side under tailcone; long pod-mounted probe on pylon under each outer wing; nose glazing around navigator's compartment deleted and flight deck rear side windows covered; downward-facing exhaust near end of port landing gear fairing; partially retracted basket-drogue of what appears to be a VLF trailing wire aerial under rear fuselage.
Some sources report that the Il-82, a model similar to the Il-86 and Il-86VPK, is intended as an airborne early warning reconnaissance aircraft.
According to other sources, the A-50 AWACS aircraft ("Mainstay") was a joint venture of the Ilyushin and Beriev OKBs (providing the airframe and electronics, respectively); the A-series designation, normally used by Beriev to indicate a prototype or experimental aircraft, has been retained for the production aircraft. Ilyushin used the designation Il-82 for the airframe (following the Il-76 transport, Il-78 tanker, and a cancelled Il-80 SLAR reconnaissance aircraft, all based on the same airframe). Beriev argued that they had designed the most important part of the aircraft, so an Ilyushin designation was inappropriate. They were still arguing when the aircraft entered service, so its internal name of A-50 went to the print shop.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|