IRKUT Makes a Case for YAK 130 Trainers for India at Aero India 2013

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:09 AM, February 11, 2013
  • 2395
Russian aircraft manufacturer IRKUT has made a case for the Yak-130 advanced combat trainer to be a part of the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. The aircraft which has been inducted into the Russian Air Force to offer both basic and advanced jet training for fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft is considered a good fit for the MiG-29, SU-30 MKI, the Rafale MMRCA and the potential acquisition of the PAK-FA fifth generation fighter.

During the course of a press conference at Aero India 2013, Vitaly Borodich, Senior Vice-President (Military- Aviation) of IRKUT said that the Yak-130 can be used both as a trainer and as combat jet when the need arises. Unlike the Hawk-100 which India has ordered from BAE Systems which is more than 15 years old in design terms, the Yak-130 was developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

India has ordered a total of 111 Hawk 100 trainers and in mid-1012 issued a request for proposal for 20 additional Hawk jets to equip the IAF’s aerobatics team, ‘Surya Kiran’. The total value of the Hawk-100 orders is over US$2 billion. IRKUT would surely bid with the Yak-130 should India announce a second round of tendering for combat trainers.

IRKUT pins its hopes on the fact that the Yak-130 is more versatile than the Hawk 100- it can be used as a combat jet and can mimic the flying the characteristics of several front-line fighters- both Russian and western such as the Rafale MMRCA which India has ordered from Dassault. The Hawk -132 (a variant of the Hawk-100 ordered by India) is known only to offer training for prominent western fighters such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-16 and F-35.

Aside as a trainer, the Yak-130 can be used as a light combat and reconnaissance plane. It is a highly manoeuvrable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers and a maximum speed of 1,060 km in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kilograms consisting of fire-and-forget and guided weapons.

The Yak-130 has been ordered by Bangladesh and talks are afoot with Malaysia and Vietnam to buy the Yak-130. It is also a competitor in a tender for delivery of six light fighter jets to the Philippines to replace retired U.S.-built Northrop F-5A Tiger fighters. IRKUT Corp. sees a potential market of 2500 planes over the next 10-15 years for the Yak-130.

The Yak-130 has been developed in collaboration between IRKUT and Alenia Aermacchi. However, the partnership broke up and the Italian firm developed its own M-346 trainer which bears a resemblance to the Yak-130. India had issued a request of information to Alenia Aeromacchi, some five years ago when it was facing difficulties with BAE Systems while ordering the second batch of 57 Hawks.

 

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