Aermacchi has admitted that the growing turmoil in Russia has delayed work on the Yak-130 jet trainer it is developing in a joint venture with Yakovlev.

The Italian company says the problems mean the aircraft will be unable to meet the timetable of some potential customers, including South Africa.

Transfer of the programme to Italy has seen the development gather pace in recent weeks and Aermacchi is set to resume flight testing of the trainer at its base at Verese by the middle of the month.

The Italian company says that it has opened discussions with Rolls-Royce over possible assistance with "technical development" of the twin-engined aircraft, which is powered by two Povazske Strojarne DV-2S turbofans. The engine, developed in the Slovak Republic from the Russian Klimov DY-2, is likely to feature a full- authority digital engine control. It is believed that one area of interest for co-operation with the UK engine builder could relate to the engine control technology.

Around 150h have been flown so far in Russia by the prototype, which is soon to be renamed the YA-130. Flight testing has been aimed at "validating quality". The full programme will get under way once the four prototypes, three of which are expected to show design revisions, become available.

The last of these prototypes are scheduled to be rolled out by early 2000, and will be part of the Russian air force's commitment to test 10 aircraft.

Source: Flight International