Yak-130 after the upgrade is expected to have similar tactical features as the Su-25 attack aircraft.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, Andrey Boginsky, General Director of Yakovlev, said that the Yak-130 advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft will be upgraded to the Yak-130M standard for special missions. According to Bulgarian Military, it is likely that the Yak-130 will be adjusted to be compatible with the latest Russian guided weapons today. As such, there will have to be significant changes to the Yak-130’s radar and optoelectronic systems.
Yak-130 after the upgrade is expected to have similar tactical features as the Su-25 attack aircraft. Exactly what the modernization process will include, and what changes the Yak-130 will have, has yet to be made public. However, it is highly likely that the combat version of the Yak-130 will be adapted to the latest types of guided weapons. As a result, advanced radar as well as optoelectronic systems will be installed.
Earlier, Radio-Electronic Technologies Company (KRET), a member of Rostec, announced that a new type of radar and an advanced electro-optical navigation system (OEPNK) has been created for the Yak-130 combat aircraft. According to KRET First Deputy Director General Boris Mikheev, after modernization, in some combat situations the Yak-130M will have potential technical characteristics close to the Su-25SM2. This would allow the aircraft to strike ground and air targets without entering enemy air defense zones.
As for additional armor for the combat version, there is no information yet. In addition, it was previously predicted that the Yak-130M will receive another more modern engine. Back in 2016, Salyut Research and Production Center said that for the Yak-130M attack version, which is based on the AI-222-25 engine, they are developing brand new SM-100 engine with digital control system. According to Rostec, unlike conventional AI-222-25 engines, the SM-100 will increase the thrust of the afterburner engine from 2.5 to 3 tons, as well as improve speed, altitude and dynamic characteristics.
According to revealed information, the new engine of the Yak-130M will be equipped with a full authority digital engine (or electronics) control (FADEC). The next issue of concern is whether the Russian Yak-130 aircraft sold abroad can be upgraded to the Yak-130M standard if the customer requests it or not?