Russia’s Yak-130 Trainer & Light Attack Jets
January 8/16: Myanmar looks set to become the fourth foreign operator of the Yak-130 jet trainer, following Belarus, Algeria and Bangladesh. The Russian government’s procurement website made the announcement . The Yak-130, while primarily used as a jet trainer, also has multi-role capabilities as a lead in fighter, and can carry up to three tons of air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, free-fall bombs, rockets, gun pods, and external fuel tanks. The vast majority of the Myanmar Air Force use Russian or Chinese made weapons and machinery due to lengthy sanctions from the US, Britain and others. Recent elections has seen democracy return to Myanmar after decades of rule by military juntas. It is hoped that an easing of sanctions will open up investment to the country.
Russia’s air force (VVS) aged badly in the wake of the Cold War, and the recapitalization drought soon made itself felt in all areas. One of those areas involved advanced jet trainers, which form the last rung on the ladder before assignment to fighters. Russia’s Czech-made L-29 and L-39 trainers were left with questionable access to spare parts, and a competition that began in the 1990s finally saw Yakolev’s Yak-130 collaboration with Italy’s Finmeccanica beat the MiG-AT in 2002. Unfortunately, Russian budget realities allowed orders for just a dozen early production Yak-130s, even as the VVS’s L-39 fleet dwindled drastically.
The Yak-130’s multi-mission capabilities in training, air policing, and counterinsurgency make it an attractive option for some customers beyond Russia. Initial export successes helped keep Yak-130 production going in those early years, mostly via a confirmed order from Algeria (16). In December 2011, however, Russia finally placed a significant order that got production started in earnest. Russia continues to promote the aircraft abroad, and now that the plane’s future is secure, interest and orders are picking up…
Contracts & Key Events
2015 – 2016
2012 – 2013
2010 – 2011
1998 – 2009
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)