24 YAK-130 4TH GENERATION ADVANCED TRAINER FOR BANGLADESH AIR FORCE
Bangladesh ordered 24 Russian Yak-130 light fighter jets worth $800 million in the final quarter of last year, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday.
The deal was paid for with a loan extended by Moscow to the country a year ago, the director of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in a separate interview published by Kommersant on Monday, without disclosing the deal’s price tag.
The newspaper said Tuesday that the sale was worth $800 million, citing unnamed sources in the defense industry. The planes are to be fitted with English-language cockpits and delivery is scheduled to begin next year.
The Yak-130 is a lightweight subsonic trainer aircraft designed to mimic the cockpit and handling capabilities of Russia’s more advanced fighters.
The plane can also be configured to carry a small payload of ground attack and air-to-air weapons.
Russia has targeted South Asia as a growth market for arms exports. The country delivered a refitted aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, to India earlier this month and is in the process of supplying Vietnam with six advanced attack submarines.
Russia’s official news agency Itar-Tass in a Singapore-datelined report said on Wednesday that talks were at the initial stage.
“Bangladesh has a big budget, more to it, a state loan might be used,” president of Russia’s aircraft building corporation Irkut Alexei Fyoforov was quoted as saying by the agency.
Fyoforov reportedly said the market capacity for Yak-130 aircraft might reach 2,500 planes till the year 2020.
“We hope to grip from 25 to 30 percent of this market,” he was quoted as saying.
The Yakovlev Yak-130 (NATO reporting name: Mitten) is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau.
Development of the plane began in 1991, and the maiden flight was conducted on April 26, 1996, the report said.
In 2005, it won a Russian government tender for training aircraft, and in 2009 the first planes were put into service in the Russian Air Force.
As an advanced training aircraft, the Yak-130 is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters as well as the fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50, it said.
It can also perform light-attack and reconnaissance duties, carrying a combat load of 3,000 kilogrammes.
DECEMBER 19, 2014