Russian Air Force to receive 65 Yak-130 jet trainers by 2017

The Russian Defense Ministry will sign a contract with aircraft construction company Irkut on the delivery of 65 YakovlevYak-130 advanced jet trainers within the next two weeks, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, said on Tuesday.

The contract is expected to be fulfilled by 2017, he said, without elaborating on the contract price of the jets.

The Yak-130 Mitten jet trainer/light attack aircraft is a subsonic two-seat aircraft developed by the Yakovlev design bureau. The first planes were put into service with the Russian Air Force in 2009.

The Yak-130, with a maximum combat load of 3 tons, is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters.

Russia has also signed contracts with Algeria and Libya on the delivery of Yak-130 jets, but the Libyan contract has been frozen over the unrest that broke out in the country in February.

The president of the Irkut corporation told journalists on Tuesday the six jets intended for Libya could be reequipped and supplied to the Russian Air Force or another foreign customer.

The Russian Defense Ministry also has plans to purchase 28 Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighters (a specialized version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI Flanker-H for Russian military) from Irkut in 2012.

The first two Su-30SM fighters are expected to be supplied to the Russian Air Force as early as next year, he added.


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