UPAZ and UPAZ-1 aerial-refueling systems

“RD&PE “Zvezda” JSC designs and develops unified aerial-refueling pods (UPAZ) mounted on tankers, and receptacles, namely, the nozzle assemblies (GPT), mounted on the probes of fuel-receiving aircraft. The nozzle assemblies are adapted to the refueling pods of foreign aircraft.

The main feature of the aerial-refueling pod is its self-containment. To transfer the fuel, the pod is equipped with a two-stage centrifugal pump driven with a ram-air turbine. The maximum possible fuel-transfer rate is 2900 l/min.

The air turbine serves as a drive for the hose drum unit. The air turbine shaft is rigidly attached to the drum through the gearbox.

At present, the following refueling pods are in service:

  • UPAZ (the length of the hose deployed in the airflow is about 28 m, hose inner diameter is 40 mm, the fuel transfer rate is up to 1600 l/min) is installed on the Su-24M tanker. The UPAZ provides flight refueling of “light” aircraft.
  • UPAZ -1 refueling pod (the length of the hose deployed in the airflow is about 26 m, the hose inner diameter is 52 mm, the fuel transfer rate is up to 2300 l/min); two pods are mounted under the tanker wings for aerial refueling of “light” aircraft, and one pod is mounted on the left side of the IL-78 (78M) fuselage tail for refueling of “heavy” aircraft (Tu-160, Tu-95MC, A-40, A-50 and IL-80).
  • UPAZ-1K refueling pod (the length of the hose deployed in the airflow is about 26 m, hose inner diameter is 52 mm, the fuel transfer rate is up to 2300 l/min).

The UPAZ -1K refueling pod is the УПАЗ-1 modification. It is adapted for the Su-27UB deck-launched aircraft.

At present, the PAZ-МК refueling pod is being developed. It is designed for the MiG-29K/KUB deck-launched tanker (the fuel transfer rate is up to 750 l/min). The specific feature of the new refueling pod is that the fuel is transferred directly by the tanker fuel system, and УПАЗ-1-type hose drum unit is used.