The Russian Air Force has taken delivery of six Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer aircraft under contract from Irkut at its aviation plant in Irkutsk, Western Military District spokesman colonel Andrei Bobrun has revealed.

Bobrun was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: ”On October 4, the first batch of Yak-130 combat trainers fly from the Irkut plant to the Borisoglebsk airfield [Voronezh region] after an extensive flight testing programme.”

The delivery forms part of an undisclosed contract signed between the company and Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in December 2011 for delivery of 55 Yak-130 jets by 2015.

Developed by Yakovlev design bureau, the Yak-130 is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed to provide training to pilots in flying advanced fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The aircraft is capable of carrying a total combat load of 3,000kg, whilst also conducting light-attack and reconnaissance missions at subsonic speeds of 600mph, in all weather conditions.

The Yak-130 is equipped with advanced digital avionics, full digital glass cockpit, quadruplex-channel digital fly-by-wire System (FBWS) and instructor controlled and variable FBW handling characteristics and embedded simulation.

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Additional components include head-up-display (HUD), helmet-mounted-sighting-system (HMSS), with a double GPS/GLONASS receiver, as well as a combat training suite featuring wide range of simulated and real air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, bombs, guns and on-board self-protection systems.

As of January 2012, eight Yak-130s were operational with the air force, which intends to acquire a total of 65 aircraft as part of the state arms programme 2011-2020.

The aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Algeria, Libya Syrian and Vietnam.

Image: A Yakovlev Yak-130 trainer aircraft being displayed at 2005 MAKS Air Show. Photo: courtesy of Ajvol.