Irkut expects to receive new orders this year for the Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer and light-attack aircraft, says company president Alexey Fedorov.
Russia's defence ministry late last year signed a production order for 55 of the twin-engined aircraft to equip the nation's air force. These will be delivered as a mix of training aircraft and armed combat trainers, Fedorov says.
Irkut also during 2011 delivered its first export examples of the Yak-130 to Algeria, under a 16-unit order signed with the nation via Russia's Rosoboronexport arms agency.
"At the moment we are conducting pretty intensive talks and negotiations with more than 10 potential customers, and I believe that in the near future we are going to sign new export contracts," Fedorov says. "I believe we are going to have some of them signed this year."
Speaking at the company's Moscow headquarters on 19 April, he declined to identify any of the prospective buyers. However, previous reports listed these as potentially including Bangladesh, Syria and other interested parties in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Rosoboronexport is also promoting the type in a new trainer contest in the Philippines.
Irkut plans to fly a combat trainer version of the Yak-130 at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough air show in the UK during July. The aircraft can carry a maximum weapons load of about 3,000kg (6,600lb).
Source: Flight International