The Yak-130 can simulate the flight characteristics of 4th and 5th generation fighters as well as excellent light attack capabilities.
Not as famous as Sukhoi Su-57 or other top Russian fighters, the Yak-130 is still the name that makes NATO wary. Russian officials say the Yak-130 is a new generation subsonic training aircraft, a harmonious combination of combat techniques with training.
As a trainer, it allows the training of pilots for new generation multi-purpose fighters, including super maneuver fighters. As a light fighter, the Yak-130 can also engage high-precision weapons on ground targets, if necessary, it can engage in aerial combat. Due to such specifications, buyers of the Yak-130 can choose the way to use this aircraft. For example, in the Russian Aerospace Force, the Yak-130 is primarily used as a training aircraft, while Belarus Air Force pilots are actively using the Yak-130 for training and combat readiness missions.
According to Sputnik News, this is because the Yak-130 is a modern aircraft that is as highly versatile as other advanced aircraft such as the Su-57 or MiG-35. The two-seater aircraft NATO calls Mitten is also said to be a much more reliable and cheaper option than other expensive fighter jets for reconnaissance and quick strike missions.
In addition, the Yak-130 has been hailed as a better fighter training aircraft than any aircraft currently owned by major defense technology powers, including the United States. Pilots trained with Yak-130 will easily master the 4th and 5th generation fighters worldwide. Yak-130 is a very suitable aircraft for the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. This is a small, flexible aircraft that can produce lightning punches, besides, Yak-130 is also useful in asymmetric battles
The development of the Yak-130 began in the early 1990s. The request was to develop a new aircraft to replace the older L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros, which have gradually become obsolete. In 1992, the Yakovlev Design Bureau collaborated with the Italian Alenia Aermacchi to create a training aircraft for the Russian Air Force. Yakovlev provided the plane shape design and Aermacchi was empowered to customize the equipment to offer Western countries.
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By 2000, this partnership had ended due to differences in priorities between the two firms. Aermacchi created a version of itself with the designation M346, currently used by the Italian, Israeli and Singapore air forces. The Russians continue the Yak-130 project. In 2002, it won a tender from the Russian government for training aircraft and in 2009, the aircraft was put into service in the Russian Air Force. A total of about 140 Yak-130s were produced, the price for an aircraft is estimated at $15 million.
The appearance of the Yak-130 is quite ordinary compared to a light jet, but hidden inside are the most modern technologies. The fuselage is designed with perfect aerodynamic styling. A sharp nose in the front, behind it is a full-glass cockpit for two pilots. The pilots are arranged to sit in parallel, the main pilot or trainee in the front, auxiliary pilot or coach in the back. The cockpit is optimized for great visibility on all sides.
As an advanced pilot training aircraft, the Yak-130 is equipped with the most advanced avionics systems, ensuring that it can copy the characteristics of Russian 4th and 5th generation fighters. Full digital cockpit, four-channel digital Fly-by-wire system and Instructor controlled and variable Fly-by-wire system handling characteristics and embedded simulation. The type also has a Head-up display and a Helmet-Mounted-Sighting-System, with a double GPS and GLONASS receiver updating an Inertial Reference System for highly accurate navigation and precision targeting. The developer estimates that the plane can cover up to 80% of the entire pilot flight training program.
The main wings of the Yak-130 swept-back, they had the wing roots extending forward of the airframe, in line with the overall design. A total of 9 hard points are arranged to carry weapons, 1 on each wingtip, 3 under each wing, and 1 under the fuselage, with a capacity of up to 3 tons. The Yak-130 can carry a variety of guided and un-guided weapons, auxiliary fuel tanks and electronic pods. According to the manufacturer, the plane was tested with all airborne weapons with a weight of up to 500 kg that are in service in the Russian Air Force.
The tail of the Yak-130 is designed with a single large vertical tail fin, two conventional horizontal fins mounted low above the engine exhaust. The Yak-130 uses a pair of Ivchenko-Progress AI-222-25 turbofan engines, producing 14.52 kilos of Newton thrust each. The engines are mounted under extended wing roots, they are aspirated by a pair of the Fly-by-wire system controlled engine intake blanking doors, in order to prevent the aircraft’s engines from sustaining Foreign object damage when operating from unpaved runways and grass strips.
Yak-130 can reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.93, equivalent to 1,060 km/h, operating range of 2,100 km, service ceiling of 12,500m, Rate of climb of 65 meters per second. The fully retractable landing system consists of two single-wheeled main landing gear legs and a single-wheeled nose landing gear leg.
At present, Yak-130 is active in air force of many countries including Russia, Algeria, Banladesh, Belarus, Laos and Myanmar. Syria has ordered 36 of these aircraft, but deliveries have been delayed due to the ongoing civil war in the country.
In addition to its role as a training aircraft, the Yak-130 can assume a ground attack role with high combat readiness and low cost. With a minimum speed of only 165 km/h, the Yak-130 has good low flying ability, which is an important feature of the attack aircraft. Armed Yak-130 will be the optimal solution for cost, quick response in the case of needing air fire support. The weapons it carries can easily destroy amphibious vehilce, infantry, armored vehicles, helicopters, transport aircraft and unmanned aircraft. Even, with short-range air-to-air missiles, Yak-130 can fully coordinate with the “big brother” to fight with enemy fighters.