Bangladesh Takes Delivery of Yak-130 Jets

 - April 9, 2015, 8:09 AM
The Yak-130 demonstrator on display at the Farnborough airshow in 2012. Exports to three countries have been confirmed, with more pending. (Photo: Chris Pocock)

Russia will deliver 14 Yakovlev-130 aircraft to Bangladesh this year and two more next year, according to Oleg Demchenko, president of Irkut Corporation, which builds these twin-engine weaponized jet trainers. The contract with Bangladesh was signed last year and includes options for 10 more aircraft. The jets are being financed through a one-billion-dollar credit arranged by the Kremlin on the base of sovereign guarantees.

Bangladesh is the third export customer for the Yak-130, which features a re-programmable flight control system able to emulate behavior and handling qualities of various types. It has a secondary role as a light attack aircraft.

Algeria operates 16 aircraft in the customized Yak-130A version with added anti-shipping capability. Belarus ordered eight Yak-130s due for delivery in 2014-2015, to replace outdated L-39 jet trainers. Four are believed to have been delivered, with four more expected to arrive this month. Eighteen technicians and four pilots from Belarus are reported to be in Russia now for training.

Irkut hopes to sell 250 Yak-130s on the international market. Vietnam has reportedly signed for eight. Syria has signed for the type, but it is unclear when or whether these jets can be delivered. Syria has also signed for MiG-29M2 multirole fighters, some of which have been assembled and test-flown, but shipments are yet to be made.

Meantime, Irkut has completed deliveries of 55 Yak-130s to the Russian air force under the November 2011 contract, with the last pair accepted by the customer early this year. In addition to the aircraft assembled by Irkut, the Russian air force also took delivery of 10 similar aircraft assembled at NAZ Sokol, where the type was in production before the task went to Irkut.