Russia's United Aircraft Corporation is set to deliver 18 Yak-130 trainers to the Russian air force in 2013, say company officials speaking at the Paris air show. The Russian air force has ordered 55 airframes of the type.
The aircraft has also been ordered by Belarus, which signed a contract for the jets in December 2012, but company officials did not say how many aircraft had been ordered. Another export contract is expected to be signed with Bangladesh later this year. Flightglobal's MiliCAS database records the first order as being for four trainers, and the latter interest for 24 units.
In order to secure more international orders, the company is considering the addition of several new features to the Yak-130 to turn the trainer into a light attack aircraft. It could be equipped with an electro-optical infra-red targeting pod, in-flight refuelling capability and airborne radar. It could also receive expanded weapons capability.
The Russians see further sales opportunity in Southeast and Central Asia.
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Source: Flight Daily News