The Il-78 tanker is a derivative of the Il-78MD transport; first deliveries took place in 1987. Its inflight refuelling system utilises the "hose-cone" principle.
There are two removable tanks in the fuselage each for 14,000 rg of fuel; UPAZ-1A unified detachable containers with a capacity of 2,300 litre/min are placed under the wing sections and in the aft fuselage. The total capacity is 92,800 kg, including 85,750 of transferable fuel. Ferry range with the two fuselage tanks attachedd is 9,500... 10,000 km. In a short time the Il-78 can be converted into transport aircraft.
Ilyshin design bureau has developed an improved version, the Il-78M, featuring a higher fuel capacity. The series production of the plane is set at Tashkent Aircraft Production Organisation. Apart from the Russian Armed Forces, the Il-78 is service with the Ukrainian Air Force.