Bangladesh is planning to acquire 24 Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer aircraft as part of a $1bn credit granted by Russia, Rosoboronexport deputy chief Viktor Komardin has revealed.
Komardin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying during the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA-2013) exhibition in Malaysia that the Yak-130 jets procurement is a significant subject of negotiations between the two countries, even though information regarding other weaponry is a state-secret.
Negotiations are expected to commence in late 2013, Komardin added.
Granted in January 2013, the credit is likely to include contracts for Russian-built armoured vehicles and infantry weapons, air defence systems and Mi-17 transport helicopters, Vedomosti had earlier reported, citing a source close to Rosoboronexport.
Developed by Yakovlev design bureau, the Yak-130 is a subsonic, swept mid-wing advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed to provide basic and advanced training to pilots for flying fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, such as Sukhoi T-50.
Capable of carrying a combat load of 3,000kg and operating from unpaved runways and airfields, the twin Progress AI-222-25 turbofan powered aircraft can also conduct light-attack and reconnaissance missions at subsonic speeds of 600mph, in all weather conditions.
The aircraft is equipped with advanced digital avionics, a full digital glass cockpit, a quadruplex-channel digital fly-by-wire system (FBWS) and an instructor controlled and variable FBW handling characteristics and embedded simulation.
Operational with the Russian and Algerian air forces, the aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Libya, Syria and Vietnam. The Bangladesh Air Force currently uses Nanchang CJ-6 and Cessna T-37 Tweet as the primary and jet trainer aircraft respectively.
Image: A Yak-130 aircraft taking off during the MAKS 2011 Air Show. Photo courtesy of Rulexip.