Alexander Velovich/MOSCOW

YAKOVLEV HAS rolled out its contender for the Russian air force's advanced jet-trainer programme, the Yak-130. The company has also signaled its intention to design a single-seat light attack variant of the aircraft.

The aircraft was presented on 29 May, two weeks after Mikoyan unveiled its MiG-AT (Flight International, 31 May - 6 June). Nikolay Dolzhenkov, Yakovlev's chief designer, says that he is confident, however, that the Yak aircraft will fly before its Mikoyan rival is flown.

Yakovlev has teamed with Italy's Aermacchi on a risk-sharing basis on the programme, while another international partner on the project is Italian radar and avionics specialist FIAR.

FIAR has teamed with Russian electronics and radar house Leninetz on joint development of the avionics suite for the Yak-130.

Silvano Casini, the FIAR president, says: "Our co-operation with Leninetz covers a wide range of on-board avionics for the trainer and its fighter/attack derivative."

The prototype Yak-130 will be powered by the Slovakian Povarske Strojarne DV-2, originally designed by the Progress Zaporozhye engine plant in Ukraine. Production aircraft, says Dolzhenkov, will be powered by the Klimov RD35 engine, which offers considerable performance and maintenance improvements over the DV-2.

The Russian air force will only decide on which aircraft it will procure to replace the Aero L-39 following a competitive fly-off between the two designs.

The Yak-130 prototype, unlike the MiG-AT, has an indigenous set of cockpit avionics. The aircraft also carries its six under-wing weapon stations.

The most intriguing aerodynamic element of the Yak design is the aircraft's distinctive wing-lets, which are a first for a military trainer.

Source: Flight International