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IL-76 - Production

In the USSR, the Ilyushin Il-76 heavy transport airplanes were assembled at the Tashkent aviation plant. Moreover, about 90% of all components were manufactured in Russia. The same organization of production was maintained in the post-Soviet period. Some 860 of basic transport variants were made. In 1990s modernized variants were developed (MF, TF), but were not produced in significant quantity due to financial problems of the major user, the Russian Air Force. The prototype of longer variant Il-76MF, with bigger capacity, first flew on 01 August 1995. The production ceased around 1997, and the factory since deteriorated. Some commercial aircraft were modernized to IL-76TD-90VD, starting from 2004, using new engines PS-90 to meet European noise limits.

After Uzbekistan announced its independence, the Tashkent aviation plant fell into decay, losing its skilled personnel and production capacities. In 2005, China ordered in Russia 34 new Il-76MD's and and four Il-78 air tankers based on the Il-76. The degradation of manufacturing in Tashkent led to the breakdown of a large Russian-Chinese contract, and the factory in Tashkent completed 16 incomplete airframes.

The Russian government issued an order to transfer the production of IL-76 family in Russia: 25 December 2006 was a contract signed between Russia and Minpromenergo MAK Ilyushin. The program decided to allocate from the state budget until 2009, 6.4 billion rubles. Coordinator of the project was MAK Ilyushin. Final assembly takes place in Ulyanovsk ZAO Aviastar-SP, wing at OAO Voronezh joint-stock aircraft Society (VASO), the landing gear chassis at Samara plant Aviaagregat. TAPO was to be retained production of components for IL-76. In 2010, the Tashkent enterprise filed bankruptcy proceedings, and in June 2012 it ceased production of airplanes.

Tashkent aviation enterprise imeni V.P. Chkalov (SE «TAPOiCH»)

From 1972, serial manufacturing of IL-76 Aircraft were done in Uzabekistan, at the base of Tashkent aviation manufacturing enterprise named after V.P. Chkalov (SE «TAPOiCH»), where in common about 950 such Aircraft were manufactured for 4 decades. The production ceased around 1997, and the factory since deteriorated. The factory was a relic of Soviet times, and relied on factories in Russia for its supply of parts, which it then assembles into completed airframes. The Uzbeks wanted to preserve the past with Chkalov operating independently and providing jobs for a grossly oversized work force. During Soviet times, the factory reportedly employed upwards of 13,000 workers. By 2007 employees numbered about 5,000, most of whom had relatively little to do as the factory was idle much of the time.

The mass production of IL-76 family at TAPO in early 2000s encountered serious problems. This was mainly due to reductions in the factory: If at the end of the 1980's in the TAPO employed 50 thousand people, by 2005 it was less than 10 thousand. This affected the performance of a number of contracts. In particular, there was a year and a half delay in the assembly of three Il-76MD-90 for the manufacture on the basis of their long-range radar detection aircraft A-50EI for India. Only in January 2008 (instead of summer 2006), the first of three aircraft went to Israel to install its Phalcon radar and onward transmission to the Indian Air Force.

According to a September 2005 contract between Rosoboronexport and China's Defense Ministry, worth $1.5 billion, Russia was supposed to deliver 34 Il-76 Candid medium-range military transport aircraft and four Il-78 Midas aerial refueling tankers. Delivery was planned for 2008-2012. The first deliveries under the contract were due to begin in 2007, but in March 2006, Uzbekistan's Tashkent Chkalov Aircraft Association, the manufacturer of the aircraft, refused to sign a production contract with Rosoboronexport at the contract price. The Tashkent plant had no large orders in the late 1990's and was without significant subsidies, and thus was unable to fulfill an agreement. According to TAPO, the real cost of assembling 38 aircraft was more than $ 400 million more than the contract price agreed with Beijing. As a result, the agreement was delayed, and Beijing suspended negotiations on this and several other military contracts with Russia.

During Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov's 3-4 July 2007 working visit to Tashkent, he pressed the Uzbeks to integrate the Chkalov Aircraft Factory on the outskirts of Tashkent into a newly created Russian aircraft manufacturing consortium. TAPOiCh remained wholly dependent on parts from Russia. Integration into the Russian system would result in refurbishment and updating of outdated technology currently in use, more orders for both IL-76 and IL-114 aircraft, and an increase in the TAPOiCh's overall value. TAPOiCh was the only facility outside of Russia that has been invited to join the consortium so far; however, Mukhametshin said that although the Uzbeks would have input into the consortium's operations, overall control would remain in Russian hands.

The first Jordanian Il-76MF c/n 96-02 (test registration 76954) first flew in Tashkent on 30 September 2010 and went to Zhukovsky on 29 October for outfitting and acceptance tests prior to the delivery. In April 2011, TAPC assembled the second aircraft (c/n 94-01, test registration 76953) under the Jordanian order. It made its maiden flight in Tashkent on 12 May and ferried to Zhukovsky for acceptance tests on 31 May 2011.

In late 2010 SJSC TAPEnC produced a new IL-76MF, military-transport carrier. On September 30 it had its first flight. IL-76MF is the new model of IL-76, one of the biggest heavy military cargo planes in the world. The new plane was managed by Russian-Uzbek crew. "The flight continued for 38 minutes. IL-76MF is an excellent plane", RIA Novosti quoted the crew captain Nikolay Kuimov. Nonetheless, after 38 minutes the plane made an emergency landing due to a large number of defaults.

In November of 2007 the government of Uzbekistan and United aircraft corporation (UAC) signed the memorandum of approving the integration mechanism between SJSC TAPEnC and UAC. Under the integration plan the government of Uzbekistan decided to exchange 50 percent plus one share of the aviation plant to the stake in UAC. The size of this stake must have been defined after the evaluation of the plant, conducted by Deloitte&Touche. The integration process was planned to be completed in mid 2008. However, this did not happen while in June of 2009 UAC management informed that the government of Uzbekistan addressed Russian side with the request to postpone the consideration of acquisition of the Tashkent aviation enterprise by the UAC until 2011.

The Tashkent economic court initiated the bankruptcy process in October 2010 of SJSC Tashkent aviation production enterprise, named after Chkalov (SJSC TAPEnC), according to state anti-trust and competition support committee (state anti-trust committee) of Uzbekistan. The representative of anti-trust committee informed that in accordance with the court’s decision, dated September 30, the monitoring regime is imposed on the enterprise; the position of the temporary manager is taken over by the representative of the Tashkent city department of anti-trust committee that initiated the bankruptcy proceedings at the enterprise. This bankruptcy case would be considered by November 1 in the economic court of Tashkent.

According to the law, the sign of bankruptcy at the enterprise is the past-due debt of at least 500 minimum salaries (about $13.5 thousand at the official exchange rate) at the moment of filing the case in the economic court. According to Uzbek legislation, during the consideration of the bankruptcy case the deptor has a right to file the petition on postponing the case consideration with the purpose of paying off the past-due debt. The debtor may use this right before the decision is announced by the economic court. In its turn, the economic court, studying the capacities of the debtor, must satisfy his petition and offer him 30-day term for paying off the past-due debt and avoid the bankruptcy.

In January 2011, the Plant's General Director of the was dismissed, and an external manager was appointed. On the 1st of June the Vice-Premier of Russia Sergey Ivanov acknowledged that the plans for the integration of the Uzbek state-owned company into the UABC «had failed», and the Corporation decided to move the IL-76 new modifications production to Ulyanovsk, Russia. Russia refused to cooperate with Uzbekistan on aircraft production after a $1.5 billion worth contract had been disrupted as for the supply of 34 IL-76MD aircraft and four IL-78 aircraft-tankers to the China Air Force.

The Il-76 series has proven quite popular, and some 960 total aircraft had been built by 2008, with production still underway. The Russian-built aircraft from the "Aviastar-SP" were scheduled for 2010, with the Ulyanovsk plant to produce ten IL-76 aircraft annually by 2012.

Voronezh Aircraft Factory VASO

Il-76MF(TF) is the latest development of the popular cargo aircraft and features a 6.6 meter fuselage extension which increases the size of the cargo compartment by 1.3 to 1.5 times, while new PS-90A-76 turbofans each provide 16 tons of thrust. The lower fuel consumption of the new engines increase fuel efficiency by 30%, permitting a 25% increase in range. Furthermore, the additional power increases the maximum take-off weight to 210 tonnes and the payload to 52 ton. Noise and emission levels meet ICAO standard.

Since 1995, the single existing MF prototype had performed 1,500 test flights. Beginning in 01 May 2003, the Il-76MF was authorized for series production to be supplied to the Russian Air Force. VASO, which was previously selected for refitting a first batch of four Il-76MDs with PS-90A76 engines, was to start building the Il-76MFs in 2005. The Russian air force signed for 10 aircraft for delivery by 2010, while planning to take up to 100 units eventually.

In January 2003, Russia Voronezh aircraft factory began production of the latest modification IL-76MF/TF. The military lacked the funds for US$100 million, so the Ilyushin company alone bore the financial burden of funding required for technical preparations. Original newly remodeled manufactured in Tashkent, Ilyushin was forced to decide on Russia territory of batch production of the model. Commander-in-Chief of the Russian air force decided to first quarter of 2003, IL -76MF met the order requirements, as well as the initial assessment of the situation of Voronezh factory production. Il-76MF-new PS-90A-type turbofan engines, fuselage extended 6.6 m, this may increase the cargo volume in half, increased cargo 30%~50%, 15%, fuel efficiency, standard cargo voyages to raise 15%~20%, noise and noxious emissions are greatly reduced. Alleged Russia air force requirement was for 100 of the Il-76MF.

Ulyanovsk Plant Aviastar-SP

After the failure of the China contract in 2005, Russia got down to transferring the Ilyushin Il-76 assembly line to its own territory at the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk. This enterprise had extensive experience in the production of heavy aircraft; the Soviet serial Antonov An-124 heavy aircraft were previously released there. At the same time, works were conducted in order to create a new modification of the Ilyushin Il-76 with better characteristics. The first aircraft of this type produced in Ulyanovsk has already been submitted for testing. The Ilyushin Il-476 retains external similarity to previous modifications of the Il-76, but its systems have undergone a serious upgrade. The aircraft is equipped with four new engines of higher efficiency, its payload is increased from 47 to 52 tons, and its flight range is 5,000 kilometers. The plane was equipped with a new control system and a new cabin.

In September 2008 it was reported that Russia would continue negotiations on a contract to deliver 34 transport planes and four aerial tankers to China earlier frozen due to a disagreement over prices. "We are returning to the contract and renegotiating the price of these planes," Mikhail Zavaliy, a Rosoboronexport official told reporters at an air show in the Krasnodar Region.

Subsequently it was decided that the planes would be assembled at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Ulyanovsk in central Russia. The Russian government issued an order to transfer the production of IL-76 family in Russia: 25 December 2006 was a contract signed between Russia and Minpromenergo MAK Ilyushin. The program decided to allocate from the state budget until 2009, 6.4 billion rubles. Coordinator of the project was MAK Ilyushin. Final assembly would take place in Ulyanovsk ZAO Aviastar-SP, wing at OAO Voronezh joint-stock aircraft Society (VASO), the landing gear chassis at Samara plant Aviaagregat. TAPO would also be retained production of components for IL-76.

As of 2008 Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Company (TAPOiCh) Director-General Sultanov was skeptical of Russian claims that Ulyanovsk could start production of these in 2010, claiming that Russia could not pull this off until at least 2015.

The production of new Russian heavy transport aircraft is now set up at the facilities of Ulyanovsk plant Aviastar-SP. The plant was scheduled to deliver the first transport planes to clients in 2014. Initially, Aviastar-SP capacities make possible to produce 6-8 aircraft a year. By 2018, the enterprise was expected to reach the capacity of producing 18 aircraft kits per year. According to the arms program for 2016-2025, it is set out to deliver 39 IL-76-MD-90A aircraft to Russian Air Force.

In 2012 there were reports that China may become the first overseas buyer of the Ilyushin Il-476, the multi-purpose four-engine strategic airlifter designed by the Ilyushin design bureau. If the two countries continue the terms and conditions in their contract of 34 Ilyushin Il-76s and four Ilyushin Il-78s, which was inked in 2005, the amount of money involved will reach billions of US dollars.

In 2012, the Russian Defence Ministry ordered 39 Il-76MD-90A planes, which are a heavy upgrade of the known military-transport plane Il-76. The contract cost is some 140 billion roubles ($2.62 billion).

Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport has received bids from foreign customers for the purchase of 25-30 military transport aircraft Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A, head of the company’s delegation to the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Sergey Kornev told reporters on 18 June 2015. "We have already received bids for 25-30 IL-76MD-90A planes - the aircraft’s military-transport, tanker and airborne early warning versions," he said.

The bids will be possibly satisfied in the future after the manufacturing plant Avisatar SP develops the planes’ steady production. The representative of the Russian delegation at Le Bourget told TASS that it is planned to increase the annual production of the Il-76MD-90A planes from the current two-three aircraft to 10-12 aircraft by 2018-2019 and to 18 - by 2021.

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Page last modified: 18-06-2015 19:24:50 ZULU