The Irkut Yak-130 during a flight demonstration at the Paris Air Show Tuesday. (Aero3A)
PARIS — The Russian maker of the Yak-130 trainer/light-attack aircraft hopes to sign a deal with Bangladesh this year, the latest in Irkut’s export push, according to the program’s director.
At the Paris Air Show on Wednesday, Irkut’s Konstantin Bobovich added that Belarus signed a contract in December to import the trainer, which flew at the air show.
He said “many countries have expressed their interest,” including those in Latin America, Southeast Asia and former Soviet republics. Irkut has been “coordinating quite intensive negotiations,” he said through a translator.
Meanwhile, domestic delivery of the aircraft is proceeding. In 2011, the Russian Air Force signed a contract for 55 Yak-130s to be delivered by 2015, with an option for another 10 aircraft. Irkut delivered 15 planes to the Air Force last year and plans to deliver another 18 this year.
In April, Russian flying cadets began making solo flights. “Everyone agrees the aircraft meets the necessary requirements for training,” Bobovich said. “It is good enough for rookie pilots and also good for advanced students about to complete school.”
The Yak-130 has a maximum combat payload of 3,000 kilograms and a maximum range of 1,600 kilometers, and its parameters have been validated by pilots, he said.
As it helps develop pilots and explores more export orders, the company is also turning toward upgrading the aircraft to make it more marketable, Bobovich said. That includes adding an optronic system pod, in-flight refueling system, airborne radar and widening the weapons options of the aircraft. ■
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