Bangladesh Set to Join Yak-130 Club
Irkut and the Yakovlev Design Bureau announced at the Paris Air Show this week that they expect Bangladesh to sign up for the Yak-130 trainer/light attack platform before the end of the year. If this happens, the nation will join a growing number of nations that have ordered the type, including Belarus last December.
Meanwhile, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant factory has recently delivered another batch of six aircraft to the Russian air force’s aviation school at Borisoglebsk, taking the number now flying at the school to 38. Altogether Irkutsk will deliver 18 aircraft this year, having completed 15 last year. The Russian air force has ordered 55, plus 10 options, from a total requirement that could top 100. The order includes 11 aircraft supplied for evaluation, which have been upgraded to the current production standard.
Yak-130 development is currently focused on four areas, comprising the integration of an optronics pod, installation of radar, additional weapons options and the clearance of an inflight refueling capability. The latter is not only of interest to export customers for extending combat reach in the attack role, but also to the Russian air force for the training of mid-air refueling.