Rosoboronexport and the Ilyushin Aviation Company have shipped the first of 10 used Il-76MD military transport planes ordered by China in 2010, a source in the defense industry told Interfax on Friday.
The sale contract is for planes that have already been in operation in various security organizations and civil airline companies, the source said.
"Before delivery to China, all the planes go through the necessary repairs and updates, and they're also repainted in white and blue," he said.
Rosoboronexport acquired the planes meant for China from overseas operators as well as Russian ones. Two such planes came from the Belarus air force while another three were purchased from the Belarussian airline Transaviaeksport.
The IL-76 is able to carry a payload of 40 tons over a range of 5,000 kilometers in less than six hours.
This delivery is not connected to the 2005 contract for China's purchase of 24 Il-76MD planes and 4 Il-78 tankers at a total cost of $1.5 billion.
"That contract, as is known, was frozen for an indefinite period of time, since due to factors not dependent on Russia, it was not possible to fulfill the contract. The Tashkent aircraft factory where the Il-76's and Il-78's were produced turned out to be unprepared to carry out construction of the aircraft in the volume and the timeframe called for in the contract," the source said.
"[Future deliveries of new planes] will most likely not be done using the previous contract, but will be based on a new one," he said.