U.S. Company Receives FAA Certification For Russian Tanker Aircraft

by: Matthew Potter
May 19, 2009

Category: Business Line, commercial aviation, Events, Florida, logistics, Military Aviation, Promotions, Services, States, Tactical Air Defense Services, training | RSS 2.0

il76Tactical Air Defense Services announced that the FAA certified their Illyushin IL-78 “Midas” tanker aircraft for use in the United States. The IL-72 and IL-76 transports and the IL-78 tanker variant have served the Soviet and Russian military for years successfully.

Due to the world’s shortage of heavy lift transport aircraft various Russian companies have made a living out of leasing their Antanov and Illyushin aircraft to support non-American Western military in their deployments and operations. This includes moving troops and supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan. For modern ground operations this kind of support is critical and there are only so many C-17 and C-5 aircraft to go around.

It only make sense that this would spread to use in the United States. The company intends to use the aircraft to support training operations as well as firefighting. There are certainly opportunities for both missions as the U.S. Air Force tanker fleet is also stretched as it waits for the KC-X contract to get going again.

Photo from jamesdale10 Flickr stream.

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