Our Bureau
10:44 AM, June 12, 2013
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One of the most eagerly awaited aircraft at next week’s Paris Air Show is the Yak-130 combat trainer. It is the world’s first advanced jet trainer which can double up as a light tactical fighter capable of day/night ground attack operation.

The Yak-130 combat trainer from IRKUT Corp. of Russia promises to become one of the most successful new military planes with some 450-500 orders expected from Russian and foreign air forces in the medium-term, a statement from the IRKUT corp. said

One of the world’s most versatile combat trainer, which will debut at the Paris Air Show next week, the Yak-130 is scheduled to perform breath-taking aerobatics. Its stand-out feature is that it is the first trainer-fighter of its kind which can carry advanced armaments such as air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles besides training pilots of fourth and fifth generation fighters from western and Russian manufacturers.

The Yak-130 has already commenced its domestic and international sales.Following an order for 16 Yak-130s by the Algerian Air Force last year, interest has come from Indonesia and other Asian countries for the versatile trainer which can also be deployed as a light fighter, a winning combination for an air force on a tight budget.

IRKUT Corp foresees a major market for the Yak-130 in South America and has proposed a license-manufacture option to Brazil where a few planes could be imported and the rest assembled in Brazil. An IRKUT Corp statement said, “there is an intention to discuss with Brazil some issues on technology and production of this trainer for the whole Latin America region”.

IRKUT may follow its ‘successful model of cooperation’ with India which manufactures the Su-30MKI under license, in the case of the Brazilian Yak-130 combat trainer. The Russian company is likely to offer Brazil to acquire an initial batch of Yak-130s and the remaining jointly manufactured for use by the Brazilian air force and export to neighboring countries.

Currently IRKUT is implementing its contract on supply of 55 Yak-130 a/c to the Russian AF. The first batch of 15 trainers have been delivered to the customer in 2012. And in April 2013, cadets from the Russian Air Force academy has started their training on Yak-130s.

At the end of 2012, IRKUT signed a contract on supply of four Yak-130 to the Belorussian AF. The contract is considered as a precedent for further sales to countries which are members of the Organization of Joint Security Treaty and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Some countries of these regional groups, Kazakhstan in particular, have demonstrated an interest in the Yak-130.

Talks are on with Bangladesh to acquire 24 Yak-130 within the framework of the Russia’s arms credit package to Dacca. In all IRKUT hopes to supply 450 – 500 of Yak-130s to the Russian Air Force and abroad.

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