AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALANDA huge Soviet-era freighter landed at Auckland International Airport carrying a satellite, which will be launched into orbit by Aerospace company Rocket Lab.

The Ilyushin Il-76, which is owned and operated by Russian cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines, landed at Auckland International Airport on Jan. 27 just before 8 pm.

Auckland Airport said in a social media post that it was excited to welcome the “unusual visitor".

The four-engine aircraft was designed in the late 1960s. It has a wingspan of 50 meters, can carry up to 50 tonnes of cargo, and has a maximum volume of 230 cubic meters.

It is still used by several operators mostly in ex-Soviet states for civilian cargo operations.

A Rocket Lab spokesperson said the aircraft was carrying a “synthetic aperture radar satellite” for Japanese Earth observation company Synspective, for one of Rocket Lab’s upcoming missions.