12:00 AM, July 18, 2012
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Irkut, the Russian aircraft maker, today said that it is ready to carry out a previously signed contract with Syria for delivery of the Yak-130, if the Kremlin approves. Russia and Syria had earlier signed a $550 million contract with Syria for the delivery of 36 Yak-130s. The transaction was suspended after Russia cited ‘internal conflict’ as the cause during Farnborough 2012. "We'll be ready to fulfill the contract when we get an indication from the government," said Irkut head Alexei Fedorov. Meanwhile, Fedorov said that the company is planning to upgrade the Yak-130 advanced jet trainer with the installation of radar and electro-optical systems to enable to aircraft for advanced weapon training as well as combat roles. "We plan to 'grow' the capabilities of this aircraft, fitting a radar and electro-optical, thermal and laser systems," Fedorov said. "Increasing the Yak-130's combat potential also allows it be potentially used in local conflict situations". The radar installation will provide the Yak-130 with target detection for air-to-ground missiles and the aircraft’s stability allows use of heavy missiles. The Yak-130 has advanced "glass cockpit" multifunction cockpit displays, and is highly maneuverable. The aircraft is currently in production for the Russian Air Force, and a number of export customers including Algeria.
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