The Ilyushin Il-76 (Russian: Ильюшина Ил-76, Il'yushina Il-76) is a multi-purpose four-engine strategic airlifter designed by Ilyushin OKB. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed for delivering heavy machinery to remote, poorly serviced areas of the USSR. Military versions of the Il-76 have seen widespread use in Europe, Asia and Africa, including use as an airborne refueling tanker or as a command center.
The Il-76 has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. It has also been used as emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian/disaster relief aid around the world. Because of its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful to undeveloped areas. Specialist models have also been produced for aerial fire-fighting and zero-G training.
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