For UAC subsidiary Irkut, the Farnborough Airshow is a great chance to connect with Western partners and prospective customers for its MC-21 narrowbody airliner development. The group claims that the new design’s composite wing will give it an operating cost advantage even over the new re-engined Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737Max airliners.
Russia’s Irkut Corp. is well known in the Asia Pacific region because of the mighty vectored-thrust Sukhoi Su-30 series multirole fighters in service with Indian and Malaysian air forces, numbering about 200 aircraft. The maker also supplied Su-27UB operational trainers to China; and a number of Asian nations still operate swing-wing MiG-23U trainers and MiG-27 strike aircraft built at the corporation’s manufacturing site in Irkutsk city, western Siberia.
The former Myasishchev design bureau that is now part of Russia’s United Aircraft wants to convert a second M-55 into a civilian flying laboratory for high-altitude atmospheric research.
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.
Bangladesh and Vietnam are close to buying the Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer, according to Russia’s weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport, but in other Asian countries the aircraft faces growing competition from China in the form of the Hongdu L-15. “There are no sales prospects for our aircraft in China, because the local engineers have developed their own design. Outwardly, the L-15 bears a distinct resemblance to the Yak-130,” said Sergei Kornev, head of the Rosoboronexport department for aviation.
Russian manufacturer Irkut is studying airborne radar candidates for its Yak-130 combat trainer. Konstantin Popovich, Irkut v-p and head of the Yakovlev Engineering Center, announced at a Farnborough International airshow briefing yesterday that three radar options are being considered, from three designers–Phazotron, Ramenskoe-based NIIP and St. Petersburg-based Leninets.
Here at Farnborough International Airshow, Russia’s Irkut is demonstrating its Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainer. Although the aircraft has participated in various air shows before, this time it represents a version of the jet already in service with the Russian and Algerian air forces.
Russian defense marketing agency Rosoboronexport believes Southeast Asia is a prime market for the Yakovlev Yak-130 two-seat advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft. Malaysia and the Philippines, in particular, have shown interest in the trainer, according to Rosboronexport deputy general director Viktor Komardin.
Later this year the Irkut Corp. will deliver the first Yak-130 advanced trainers to the Algerian air force. The North African air arm already has personnel training on the type at the company’s Irkutsk facility in Siberia, where Algerian pilots undertook their first solo flights in September.
Despite considerable easing of import rules for Western airplanes in the past three years, Russian business aircraft owners appear reluctant to place their aircraft onto the national aviation register, according to GosNIIGA, the State Scientific Research Institute of Civil Aviation, and Russia’s largest aircraft lessor, IFC.
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