Russia’s Zhukovsky and Gagarin Air Force Academy in Armavir, Krasnodar, is reportedly set to take delivery of additional Yakovlev Yak-130 light attack training aircraft.
The five aircraft are currently undergoing testing at Irkut‘s plant in the Irkutsk region in Siberia, and are scheduled to be delivered to the academy this week, as reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The academy is run by the Russian Defence Ministry. It is also expected to receive an additional 20 jets before the end of this year.
High-ranking commanding officers are prepared at the academy. The facility also enables regiment and division-level commanding officers to fill staff, navigation, logistics, communications, and radar-support positions.
The Yak-130 is developed by Yakovlev design bureau and manufactured by Irkut. It is a swept mid-wing advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft, and is designed to provide basic and advanced training to pilots for flying fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, such as Sukhoi T-50.
The twin engine aircraft is capable of carrying a combat load of 3,000kg and operating from unpaved runways and airfields. It can also conduct light-attack and reconnaissance missions at subsonic speeds of 600mph, in all weather conditions.
First test flights for the subsonic aircraft were completed in 1996. The Yak-130 was initially delivered to the Russian Air Force in 2009, and has been used for training since 2013.
Around 48 aircraft are currently used by the Borisoglebskiy Aviation Training Center.
The Russian Air Force aims to acquire a total of at least 72 Yak-130 aircraft, which are sufficient for four training regiments, as reported by Sputnik International.
Currently operational with the Russian and Algerian Air Forces, the aircraft has also been ordered by Bangladesh, Libya, and Vietnam.
Image: A Yak-130 trainer aircraft at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show in the UK. Photo: courtesy of Adrian.