Russian aircraft manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has delivered a brand-new Ilyushin Il-96-300 airplane to the Rossiya special air detachment reporting to the Office of the Russian President. The aircraft built by the VASO plant had passed all of its factory and official tests, according to UAC’s press office.
The Il-96-300 received by Rossiya has been made using Russian-manufactured components, its advanced systems and avionics are Russian-made.
The new plane features drastic novelties, in particular, an upgraded defensive aids suite (DAS) and a sophisticated flight and navigation system meeting all airworthiness standards, including international ones.
Rossiya Director General Yaroslav Odintsev, speaking at the delivery ceremony, said: “The new Il-96 is the ninth aircraft of the type to be flown by the presidential air detachment. I am especially proud that the aircraft will also represent our country in international airspace, demonstrating the progress made by our aircraft industry”.
The plane delivered is the 22nd Il-96-300 built by VASO. The widebody airliner has a range of 13,000 km. The Il-96’s production keeps VASO busy as a key taxpayer of the Voronezh Region. In all, the plant employs about 3,600 personnel, with 80% of them working under the Il-96 production program.
The Il-96-300 is equipped with a system protecting it against man-portable air defense missile systems (MANPADS). Photos of Rossiya’s aircraft (registration RA-96022) – the first one to carry a DAS like that – cropped up on the Internet in April. The Il-96 fitted with the DAS first flew on November 23, 2015.
The DAS comprises of four units mounted under the fuselage – two in its nose section and two in the tail one. Each of the units includes two threat detection sensors (one for the front hemisphere and the other for the rear one) and an infrared jammer of incoming missiles’ heat seekers.
The nose and tail units are different, with the latter having rectangular windows, which may mean they are part of the L-140 Okhotnik laser warning receiver. The windows of the nose-mounted units are round, which may indicate the L-370-2 ultraviolet illumination warning system. The jammer is likely to be the LSZ-100-1, and the overall anti-MANPADS system is, probably, the LSZ-100 laser protection system.
Components of the system, e.g. the LSZ-100-1 jammer and L-370-2 laser-warning receiver, were demonstrated at the MAKS 2015 air show. (Russian Aviation/Business World Magazine)