Russia’s Kuban Military Aviation is set to receive five new Yakovlev Yak-130 light attack training aircraft this week, with twenty more to be delivered before the year is out, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.
The subsonic two-seater advanced trainer/light attack aircraft, NATO code-named Mitten, was developed by the A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau, and is being produced by Irkut, a member of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation.
By technical and maneuverability characteristics, the plane is close to the modern fighter planes' performance at subsonic flight speed, making it a perfect training craft for future pilots of fourth+ and fifth generation planes.
The first deliveries of the aircraft, which made its first test flights in 1996, began in 2009, and it has been used for training since 2013.
The Borisoglebskiy Aviation Training Center, which was the first to receive the trainers, presently has 48 of the craft. The Russian Air Force intends to purchase a total of at least 72 Yak-130 aircraft, enough for four training regiments. Other countries operating or signing contracts for delivery of the plane include Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Syria, and Vietnam, with several other countries showing interest.