The Ilyushin Il-76P water bomber aircraft was developed at the end of 1988 at the Ilyushin Design Bureau on the basis of the Il-76MD transport aircraft. The main task was to create a system that would be simple in its design and allow to re-equip any Il-76 aircraft without any modification of its design. The system was materialised as aircraft spray tank, known for the Russian initials as VAP. The system consists of two tanks positioned along the entire length of the cargo compartment with refueling and unloading systems.
The first practical use of the aircraft took place in the summer of 1990 during forest fires in the Krasnoyarsk region. By the beginning of 1993, an upgraded aircraft spray tank of a larger volume had been developed.
The Il-76P is equipped with an easily removable system, consisting of 2 VAP-2 tanks, and almost any transport Il-76 can be converted into a water bomber.
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