Russia will soon complete the delivery of Yak-130 combat training aircraft to Vietnam, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told Tass news agency on Saturday.
Russia is the biggest arms supplier to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s fleet deploys Russian-made fighters jets, surface ships and submarines, according to the state-run TASS news agency.
According to the RIA Novosti news agency, Vietnam signed a contract to buy at least 12 Yak-130 training aircraft worth more than 350 million USD and became the sixth country in the world to equip Yak-130 after Algeria, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Belarus.
Answering corresponding questions from journalists, he said: “According to the plan, we will complete the contract of supplying Yak-130 combat trainers to Vietnamese Air Force by the end of the year.”.
According to Shugaev, in recent years, several customers showed interest to purchase of Yak-130.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off mass of only 9 tons, a weapon load of 3 tons including machine guns, bombs, air-to-air or air-to-ground missiles. Combat radius 550km, can be further if carrying extra oil tank. Russia is expected to equip 200-300 Yak-130 aircraft.
The Yak-130 can take on the ground attack role with high combat readiness and low cost.
With a minimum speed of only 165km/h, the Yak-130 has the ability to fly low and stick to the terrain, which is an important feature of the attack aircraft.
With a control system comparable to that of mainstream aircraft, practicing on the Yak-130 provides a lot of valuable experience for pilots before being allowed to fly on existing and upcoming aircraft.
The low acquisition cost of the aircraft makes pilot training less expensive, which makes the learning and practice process of new pilots more effective than older generation training aircraft.
Neither Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport nor the federal military cooperation service commented on the report that Vietnam had ordered 12 Yak-130s last year.
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