Skip to comments.Russian Il-76 “Candid” Modified To Support Special Operations Conducts Flight Test Over ...
Posted on 10/03/2017 8:53:38 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
A really interesting aircraft was spotted conducting flight testing over the Black Sea on Sept. 26, 2017: the Il-76MD-90A 78650, the first Candid modified to carry out special operations.
According to the Russian media outlet Izvestia the example 78650 is a flying testbed for a heavily modified Il-76MD-90A variant equipped with unique on-board radio-electronic systems that would allow the aircraft to stealthily deliver paratroopers and special forces behind the enemy lines, remaining invisible and invulnerable to the enemy.
How the aircraft can evade radars and remain invisible is unclear, anyway, the experimental Candid can be distinguished from the baseline IL-76MD-90A by the presence of an opto-electronic station mounted on the lower nose section of the aircraft and for the President-C system used designed to protect aircraft from MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems) and IR (heat-seeking) missiles by laser and radiofrequency/electronic jamming of the missile guidance.
The aircraft is also equipped with advanced avionics, modernized communication suite and flight navigation system as well as a new collision warning system for low-level flying.
The example 78650, used to test the new Special OPS variant of the Candid strategic cargo, is the same aircraft involved in the flight-test and certification program for the Il-76MD-90A airlifter (first flight on Sept. 22, 2012). According to Izvestia, the aircraft returned to the Aviastar manufacturing facility in Ulyanovsk, where new equipment was installed, in 2014.
The Il-76MD-90A 78650 (credit: https://sdelanounas.ru/)
With the modified Il-76, Moscow aims to field all-weather, day and night aircraft capable to airdrop special forces or cargo well inside the enemy territory or to land on unprepared airstrips behind the enemy lines. More or less what the U.S. special operations aircraft (such as the MC-130s or the C-17 Globemaster IIIs) have been doing for some decades.
Needless to say we dont know what type of sensor the Il-76 78650 was testing over the Black Sea on Sept. 26; nevertheless, it is at least interesting that the activity of this highly modified aircraft filled with equipment required to undertake clandestine missions can be tracked online (by means of the usual Mode-S/ADS-B transponder) using Flightradar24.com.
Top image created by editing a Flightradar24 screenshot with a chart published by Izvestia.
Read more at https://theaviationist.com/2017/10/03/russian-il-76-candid-modified-to-support-special-operations-conducts-flight-test-over-the-black-sea/#yiYr5x3geqsH6Sc8.99
I am not military. I have never been in any government role, and have zero technological knowledge of flying machines. Ours. Russia’s. China’s.
But I fail to see how such a big, huge, lumbering monster is “invisible” to anyone.
I just don’t see how this is possible.
Son of C17’s? Looks like the ones I see all the time around Wash. D.C.
After all, the Red Chinese air fleet was mainly made up of stolen US designs so why should the Russians not do the same thing?
It can be done, but that plane is not it.
Interesting thing about stealth, is that it apparently makes no difference how big the item is, if the correct concepts are followed, stealth can be achieved. (According to a book called “Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed” by Ben Rich, who led the development of the F-117.
He said you could make something as big as an aircraft carrier stealthy, if you follow the concepts...the concepts apparently scale up with no problem. Hard to believe, but if he says it...(head of the Skunk Works)
Except that the IL-76 Candid was designed in the early 60’s....long before the C-17.
It’s more a RIP-off of the C-141 Starlifter than anything.
The C-17 made its first flight in 1991; the IL-76 made its first 20 years before!
However, i guess this particular variant has incorporated lessons learnt by the U.S. and NATO.
The US has gone the “passive stealth” route, where the design of the aircraft is critical in confusing or evading radar. Our countries have gone the “active electronic stealth” route that relies on electronics and advanced spoofing electronics to confuse or evade radar.
Our route is hugely expensive and might even now be becoming outdated by improved radar from the other side. Electronic stealthiness can continue to evolve from its immature stage now. It might indeed be able to conceal an aircraft as ungainly as the Ll-76.
“Our countries . . .” above should read: “Other countries . . ..”
The answer is in the article.
The plane has an advanced TERRAIN FOLLOWING RADAR GUIDANCE SYSTEM. It can fly below 'radar' and therefore not be 'seen'.
Of course, it can be heard by those it passes over, but by then it could be too late.
The last Lockheed Starlifter was retired in 2006, but the Ilyushin “C-141ski” still flies on. Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.
I’d have to say it’s due more to the number of hours flown. Our transport fleet is constantly flying. Russian transports fly a fraction of the hours ours do. I wouldn’t be surprised if the average number of hours on the C-17 fleet isn’t higher than the average number of hours on the IL-76 fleet.
Stay low, under radar illumination. Same as the B-52 tactics.
SpecOps prefer to not drop from high altitude and risk detection and/or wind drift issues.
Did the C17 come from the C5A concept which was much older?
That is true...I have always thought of that as ECM rather than stealth, but...if there is a way to do it without actually revealing your presence (Such as a Prowler or Growler turning on their jamming, which tells the entire world that something is coming even if it can’t be seen because it is being jammed!) then I suppose stealth vs. ECM is a distinction without a difference...:)
From the reading I have done, the C-17 was intended to address a number of shortcomings in the evolving USAF air transport fleet:
- Retirement of the C-141 fleet
- Limited range and cargo capacity of the C-130 fleet.
- Inability of the C-5 to operate from expeditionary airfields.
The C-17 exploited the lessons learned from the cancelled YC-14 and YC-15 airlifter development programs:
The C-17 is described in the Wikipedia article as a much larger successor to the YC-15 design.
Must not be working very well if a commercial website could track its course.
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