The Ukrainian Il-76TD cargo aircraft were destroyed on Al Jufra Airbase in Libya, after multiple rocket attacks carried out on the airfield.
Earlier, unconfirmed news reported that the aircraft were destroyed after multiple Libyan Air Force drone attacks on Al Jufra Airbase conducted by means of a Turkish-built Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) which was instead shot down.
The Ilyushin Il-76TD cargo aircraft destroyed were UR-CMC 1013407230 and UR-CRP 1013409303, Scramble Facebook News Magazine says.
Several media outlets reported that the Il-76 cargo aircraft were transporting prohibited weapons from Turkey to Libya. As a result of the explosion, the captain of UR-CMC died in the attack as he reportedly tried to save the on board documents.
Zaporizhia portal claims that Volodymyr
Bukhalsky, the Ukrainian pilot from Melitopol, who signed a contract with the
Libyan Arab Air Cargo airline, died when his plane was destroyed.
So far, the Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed this information.
The Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau. It was developed as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed to deliver heavy lifts to remote, poorly served areas. Military versions of the Il-76 have been widely used in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Candid has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy lifts unable to be transported otherwise. It has also been used as an emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world.
From 2004 onwards, a number of aircraft in commercial service were modernized to the Il-76TD-90VD version; this involved the adoption of the newly developed PS-90 engine to comply with European noise limitations.