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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Air Force to purchase first Yak-130 trainers in 2009

RIA Novosti

04/03/2008 18:50 YEKATERINBURG, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Air Force will start procuring its first batch of new Yak-130 trainers in 2009, the Air Force's commander said on Tuesday.

The Yak-130 single-seat aircraft 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.

"In 2009, we will start purchasing the first batch [of planes] for the Krasnodar military flight school," Alexander Zelin told a news conference following a meeting with CIS air defense officials in the Urals.

Zelin said the Air Force was planning to commission about 200 Yak-130s to equip four air regiments in the future.

The Yak-130 is a highly maneuverable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and a maximum speed of 1,060 km/h (600 m/h) in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kg (6,600 pounds), consisting of a variety of Russian and Western developed weapons.

Zelin also said the Czech-made L-39 trainer, used for training of cadets at military flight schools, would remain in service with the Russian Air Force because its long service life and performance characteristics meet the current demands.

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