28 Mar 2014 17:42

LatAm nations consider buying Russian Yak-130 trainer/attack jets - company

SANTIAGO, Chile. March 28 (Interfax-AVN) - Rosoboronexport is negotiating sales of Yakovlev Yak-130 trainer/light attack jets to some Latin American countries, the company's chief executive said.

"Yak-130 trainers/light attack aircraft are being sold to many countries already. Some of the [Latin American] countries have shown interest in them. There are negotiations underway. No specific contracts have been signed yet. As you will realize, this is quite a lengthy process," Anatoly Isaikin told reporters.

"We hope we have a chance to get the Chilean air force to accept it," he said.

"We have made a presentation of this aircraft, but, as you know, a presentation is just the first phase. We still have a lot of work to do," Isaikin said.

It is a unique advantage of the Yak-130 that it can be used to train pilots for many types of aircraft, both Russian- and foreign-made, and can also be used as a combat aircraft, he said.

The head of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technological Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, said the Yak-130 was unrivaled.

"It's really a good aircraft. It's a universal means of training for many types of aircraft, including the [McDonnell Douglas] F-15 and [General Dynamics] F-16. It's a very small plane, but at the same time it's a fearsome means of defense," Fomin said.

"It can carry a maximum payload of 3 tonnes. It's a very maneuverable aircraft for a limited battlefield where it makes no sense to use more powerful, multirole, high-speed aircraft. With all respect [for other planes], I would say that this aircraft simply has no rivals," he said.

The Yak-130 is a new-generation two-seater produced by the Irkut corporation. Besides training, it can be used in combat to attack air and ground targets in various weather conditions.

Its technical characteristics and maneuverability bring it close to modern subsonic fighters, and hence it can be used to train pilots for generation four-plus and fifth generation aircraft.

It can also land on unprepared airfields.