Yak-130 jumps into the advanced jet trainer fray
As competition to meet demands for advanced jet trainers in the region intensifies, Irkut is promoting the Yak-130 now entering production to meet a Russian Air Force requirement. Selected in 2002 as the principal aircraft for basic and advanced training, the Yak-130 has only recently begun rolling off the Irkut production line against an initial order for 12.
However, the Russian air force is expected to require as many as 250 examples and the Yak-130 is also seen to have good prospects for sales to countries equipped with the Su-27 and MiG-29. This is because the Yak-130 is fitted with a digital control system with fourfold redundancy, enabling it to simulate the controls of all modern fighters including the Sukhoi- and MiG-designed aircraft.
Such a capability will enable pilots of limited experience to quickly learn how to control modern combat aircraft, regardless of origin. Indeed it is claimed that the Yak-130 can be used to train up to 80 percent of the skills required by military pilot training programs, thus producing competent crews at minimal cost.
The advanced avionics of the Yak-130 include three multifunction full-color liquid-crystal displays together with a head-up display to which a helmet-mounted target designation system can be added. Live-fire training can be provided using up to nine underwing hard points capable of carrying three tons of ordnance.
The Yak-130 was at one time the subject of a joint venture development with Aermacchi but the two teams went their separate ways, resulting in the Italian company proceeding with the similar M-346, which is on display at the show.