The Russian air force is planning to order an additional batch of new Yak-130 combat trainers because demand for the aircraft is growing, the air force’s top commander said.
“It is certain that we will sign a new contract,” Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said during a visit to the Irkutsk aircraft manufacturing plant, which makes Yak-130 trainers.
Bondarev confirmed that the Russian air force would soon form a new aerobatics team flying Yak-130s.
As to the international attention to this aircraft, Malaysia and Vietnam are interested in buying Russian-made Yak-130 Mitten combat trainers, a source in the Russian delegation at the Air China aerospace show told RIA Novosti.
“Malaysia will need new combat trainers in the near future to replace the outdated Italian-made M-339 aircraft,” the source said.
The same refers to Vietnam, which has bought Russian Su-30MK2 jet fighters in the past, the source added.
Russia’s Yak-130 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.
The Yak-130 Mitten jet trainer/light attack aircraft is a subsonic two-seat aircraft developed by the Yakovlev design bureau.
The plane has been chosen as a basic aircraft for Russian air force pilot training. The first deliveries of the aircraft started in 2009.
The Russian Defense Ministry ordered 48 Su-35s in 2009. The final deliveries are due in 2015.
“We received 12 aircrafts this year in addition to 10 delivered earlier,” Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said.
Bondarev said that under the contract with Sukhoi, the air force would receive 12 Su-35 fighter jets next year and 14 aircraft in 2015.
The Su-35s will be based at the Dzemga airbase in Russia’s Far East, he said.
The Su-35 Flanker-E is a heavily upgraded derivative of the Su-27 multirole fighter. It has been touted as “4++ generation using fifth-generation technology.”
The aircraft, powered by two 117S turbofans with thrust-vectoring, features high maneuverability and the capability to engage several air targets simultaneously.