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Beriev A-50

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The Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name: Mainstay) is a Soviet airborne early warning and control (AEW) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport. The existence of the A-50 was revealed in 1980 by Adolf Tolkachev. Developed to replace the Tupolev Tu-126 "Moss", the A-50 first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about forty produced by 1992.


  • A-50M: Modernized Russian variant fitted with midair refueling capability.
  • A-50U: Updated variant with modern electronics.
  • Izdeliye-676: One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-776: One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-976: (СКИП – Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Center) – Il-76 based Range Control and Missile tracking platform. Initially built to support Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile tests. Has fixed radar cover filled with other equipment and glassed navigator cockpit, (one prototype and five production conversions).
  • Izdeliye-1076: One-off special mission aircraft with unknown duties.
  • A-50I: Variant with Israeli radar, designed for China but project cancelled under pressure of the United States.
  • A-50E/I: Variant with Aviadvigatel PS-90 A-76 engines and the Israeli EL/W-2090 radar made for the Indian Air Force.


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