The Força Aérea Nacional de Angola (FANA, Angola Air Force) has taken delivery of another Ilyushin Il-76 ‘Candid’ transport aircraft, most likely from ex-Belarussian stocks.
According to multiple sources, this latest Il-76TD delivery with registration T-914 was seen in Minsk, Belarus last month wearing FANA markings.
On 9 June, the aircraft was tracked by FlightRadar24 over Egypt after departing Belarus on what was presumably its delivery flight. Three other Il-76s are believed to be joining FANA’s fleet of tactical transportation.
Il-76 with registration T-912 was seen over Belarus in April and was first observed in February this year, indicating the first of a new batch. Other Il-76TDs in Angolan service are T-908, T-909, T-910, and T-911, so based on the registrations, this indicates three additional aircraft are being delivered.
FANA has been flying Il-76s for some 20 years, and with only seven currently operational, eight have been scrapped, and one is in storage. The aircraft are flown by the Esquadra de Transportes which is based at Base Aérea No 1 (Luanda/4 de Fevereiro).
The air force relies on An-12, An-24, An-72, C212, and Il-76 aircraft for transport duties. It recently acquired a couple of Xian MA60s from China and just recently confirmed orders from 2018 for three Airbus C295 multi-mission aircraft. The two aircraft will be specifically equipped for maritime surveillance and one for transport missions.
While the six-engined Antonov An-225 gets a lot of attention as the largest cargo plane around, it’s worth remembering the Ilyushin IL-76 too.
Il-76 is a medium-range military transport aircraft, also known by the Nato codename ‘Candid’.
This relatively unsung hero of logistics is still flying around for several operators – many of them in North Africa, Russia, and the former Soviet republics, and is a favorite of air forces in many of these countries, but also runs civilian cargo missions as well with operators like Silk Way, Volga-Dnepr among others.
Produced by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Joint Stock Company in Moscow, along with the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corporation in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, around 1000 aircraft have been produced since service entry in 1974.