MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s ministry of defence and aircraft-building corporation Irkut have signed a contract on the supply of 55 Yak-130 lead-in fighter trainer aircraft to the Russian air force.
“Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and President of the Irkut Corporation Alexei Fyodorov have signed a contract for Yak-150 aircraft,” a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday. “Under the contract, the Irkut Corporation shall supply 55 Yak-130 places to the Russian air force by 2015.”
“As part of efforts to form a new image of the Russian armed forces, the defence ministry pays primary attention to equipping the army with state-of-the-art hardware and to enhancing its combat capability,” the Russian defence minister said. “The new Yak-130 aircrafts will help improve pilots’ skills and to train them to be ready to fly new-generation combat aircraft to be mass purchased by the defence ministry.”
Under the state arms program up to 2020, it is planned to purchase 65 Yak-130 fighter trainer aircraft.
The Yakovlev Yak-130 (NATO reporting name: Mitten) is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer /light attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau. Development of the plane began in 1991, and the maiden flight was conducted on April 26, 1996. In 2005, it won a Russian government tender for training aircraft, and in 2009 the first planes were put into service in the Russian Air Force. As an advanced training aircraft, the Yak-130 is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters as well as the fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50. It can also perform light-attack and reconnaissance duties, carrying a combat load of 3,000 kilograms.