The Yakovlev design bureau plans to build another 12 examples of the Yak-130 advanced trainer, which is on display in the static park here, during the next two years, according to general director Oleg Demchenko, who is also chairman of Irkut Corporation.
United Aircraft Corporation
Among the many military trainers exhibited here at Le Bourget, the Russian Yakovlev Yak-130 light twinjet can justly claim to represent a totally new generation. Equipped with a fly-by-wire control system, three large-screen 6- by 8-inch multifunctional liquid crystal displays and claiming an ability to replicate the performance of any combat aircraft, the Yak-130 should arguably be on the wish list of procurement departments.
Here at the Paris Air show on Monday, Sukhoi unveiled a mockup of its Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) forward fuselage section, including the new flight deck supplied by Thales. The RRJ is the first Russian-made commercial aircraft with fly-by-wire side-stick controls and has Category IIIa landing capability as standard; Category IIIb is optional.
The proliferation and diversification of international terrorism and crime is fueling demand for next-generation patrol aircraft for surveillance of airspace, sea and land. Nations such as Russia, Ukraine, China, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Iran want a single aircraft platform for such roles.
Two months from now on August 16 to 21, Russia will stage its seventh Moscow Aviation and Space Exposition (MAKS, to use its Russian acronym). Held on the grounds of the historic (and once top-secret) Gromov Flight Research Institute (LII) in the suburb of Zhukovsky, the exposition has become the showcase event for aerospace enterprises in Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“Stealth does not make you invisible,” said the Russian designer sitting across the table at an out-of-the way institute in Moscow. “It makes an aircraft more survivable–but the concept that it is the only path to increasing the survivability of a military aircraft is wrong. We have taken a different approach from the U.S.”
Russia’s RSK MiG continues to offer new members of the MiG-29 family of multifunctional fighters, including the MiG-29K/KUB, the-29M/M2 and the -29SMT. They feature digital multichannel fly-by-wire systems, color liquid-crystal multifunction displays and hands-on throttle and stick controls.
There are those in Russia who ask if the state’s plan to create a Unified Aircraft Corporation is a 21st century repeat of Stalin’s failed collectivization experiment of the late 1920s.
Russian fifth-generation fighter programs could undergo major revisions to meet India’s requirements, following Sukhoi’s offer of an export version of the latest T-50 model. With India as a major importer of Russian defense equipment (purchases last year accounted for $1.8 billion), Sukhoi and its rival/possible collaborator can ill-afford to be out of sync with the Asian power’s military agenda.
As competition to meet demands for advanced jet trainers in the region intensifies, Irkut is promoting the Yak-130 now entering production to meet a Russian Air Force requirement. Selected in 2002 as the principal aircraft for basic and advanced training, the Yak-130 has only recently begun rolling off the Irkut production line against an initial order for 12.