Russian manufacturer Irkut is studying airborne radar candidates for its Yak-130 combat trainer. Konstantin Popovich, Irkut v-p and head of the Yakovlev Engineering Center, announced at a Farnborough International airshow briefing yesterday that three radar options are being considered, from three designers–Phazotron, Ramenskoe-based NIIP and St. Petersburg-based Leninets.
One option would be to use a pod, and most of the development should be completed by 2013. “The Russian ministry of defense helped define the direction to go,” Popovich added.
The optronics system is also to be finalized by next year. The ministry suggested adding the refueling system, when it saw “how close the Yak-130’s characteristics are to those of the MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-30,” according to Popovich.
Other “capability enhancements” in the works, reported Popovich, include an optronics pod, an in-flight refueling system and more weapon options for the jet’s nine hard points.
Offering the Yak-130 to the U.S. Air Force is in the cards. “No particular contacts” have been established, however, Popovich said. He added that, so far, Yak-130 components have been 100 percent Russian but the aircraft could be fitted with some Western equipment.
This year, Irkut is delivering a first batch of 15 aircraft to the Russian air force, which has a total of 67 on firm order. AIN has learned that 16 were handed over to Algeria last year, but Irkut officials did not disclose this deal. Asked about Syria, Popovich stated his company does not supply Yak-130s to that country.