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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Air Force to buy Yak-130 planes despite trainer crash

RIA Novosti

11/08/2006 12:54 MOSCOW REGION, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - A recent crash of a Yak-130 trainer in central Russia will leave the Defense Ministry's plans to buy the modern planes for the army unaffected, the Air Force commander said Friday.

On July 26, a Yak-130 crashed in the Ryazan Region about 150 miles southeast of Moscow due to a failure in the flight control system. Both pilots successfully ejected and were slightly injured in the crash.

"The crash of Yak-130 will change nothing: either its manufacturing or purchase for the Armed Forces," said Vladimir Mikhailov. "This happens to new equipment, especially during trials."

He added that the plane had been fully insured.

"Two planes are continuing the training, and we can build another one for further trials," he said. "There is no reason for dramatizing [the situation]."

In mid-June, Russia's Air Force officials said they were looking to purchase 250 new Yak-130 aircraft to train pilots.

The Yak-130 single-seat aerobatic airplane can be used as a light strike aircraft or as a trainer for fourth and fifth generation fighters. With a production line launched in May 2003, the plane is also being marketed for export.



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