The Il-76, NATO code name "Candid," is a cargo aircraft designed in the Soviet Union, and looks roughly similar to the C-141 Starlifter and C-17 Globemaster III. Many are used by Aeroflot and the Russian Air Force, while many more are found in the hands of commercial operators like Air Koryo, Cubana, Syrianair, and Libyan Arab Airlines. Several other air forces use Il-76's, including those of the Czech Republic, India (where it's called the Galaraj), and Yemen. Iraq had many Il-76's before Gulf War II: several Il-76 carcasses could be seen in the post-battle aftermath at Saddam International Airport.

The plane first flew in 1971, and has since replaced the older An-12 Cub in a variety of mission roles. With its high-mounted wing and rugged landing gear, the Il-76 can operate from the most primitive airstrips in Siberia, and with a cruising speed of nearly 500 mph (800 km/h), it can cross Russia's vast width in no time at all. Its maximum payload is just over 110 000 lb (52 000 kg) in a cargo bay large enough to hold 140 passengers, 125 paratroopers, a medical unit, or oversized items up to 80 feet long and 10 feet wide.

Like the Boeing 707, the Il-76's airframe has been refitted for all sorts of purposes. The A-50 Mainstay is an AWACS airplane used by Russia, China, and India, while the Il-78 Midas is an Il-76 equipped for in-flight refueling. The Il-76DMP is used for firefighting, where it can carry and dump more than 40 tons of water or foam. The Il-76SK is used as an airborne command post, and the Il-76MPP is used for electronic warfare. Other Il-76's have been equipped for free fall training and operations in Antarctica, among other missions. Military-spec Il-76's are also lightly armed, with two 23mm machine guns sticking out of the tail to dispatch hungry F-16's.

Over 700 have been built, and they continue to fly around the world today.