Ilyushin and the Uzbekistan Government have signed a memorandum of understanding to equip the Ilyushin Il-76MF with CFM International CFM56-5C engines. The Uzbekistan Government is ordering five aircraft.

With Russian military funding scarce, the Uzbekistan Government - which is supporting the Tashkent Aircraft Production factory, site of Il-76manufacture - has thrown the programme a lifeline and is to order five examples for development work.

Ilyushin chief designer, Igor Katyrev, also says the first Aviadvigatel PS-90A-poweredIl-76MF completed air force tests last December. He says while the PS-90A is developing into a "good, reliable engine", the CFM56 will make the aircraft more acceptable at noise sensitive airports.

"We have not yet decided on the -5C2 or the -5C4. Either way, the CFM engine will give slightly less power than the PS-90A's 35,245lb [156kN] of thrust, but the difference will not be significant. But its reputation is excellent, and it should help us in a tough market," says Katyrev.

He says Western certification will not be sought as the Il-76TD was certificated to Soviet NLGS-3 standards and not today's AP-25 legislation that mirrors European and US air worthiness standards.

Katyrev says Aeroflot is discussing the conversion, having previously dropped proposals to re-engine its Il-76s.

The Il-76MF is a 6.6m (22ft) stretch of the Il-76MD Candid (military) or TD (civil) freighter. It can carry 60t (132,600lb) over 3,600km (1950nm) and its maximum range is 9,600km.

Ilyushin claims that 10 CFM56- powered "Il-76MF-100s" would carry the equivalent of 32 Airbus Military Company A400Ms or 58 Lockheed Martin C-130Js in less than half the time and at 55-62% of their fuel consumption.

The engines, thrust reversers and nacelles will be provided through CFMI.

Source: Flight International