LIDA, 23 November (BelTA) – A solemn ceremony took place in Lida, Grodno Oblast on 23 November to hand over four new combat and training aircraft Yak-130 to the 116th Guards Attack Aircraft Air Base of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense, BelTA has learned. The aircraft were made by the Russian R&D corporation Irkut.
Oleg Dvigalev, Chief of the Air Force and Air Defense Command of the Belarusian army, presented the logbooks for the aircraft to the air base technicians. The officer remarked that the acquisition of another four Yak-130 aircraft will allow Belarusian pilots and cadets to further improve their skills of flying 4++ generation aircraft. It was the second batch of the Yak-130 aircraft transferred to the Belarusian army. The first batch of four Yak-130 aircraft was handed over in 2015.
In addition to making piloting training plans the aircraft will allow practicing combat operations. Yak-130 is classified as a light attack aircraft. This is why plans have been made to use these aircraft as part of the exercises that will be held in 2016-2017 and will involve other units of the Belarusian army. The aircraft are supposed to provide aerial support to troops on the ground, for instance, by helping to block illegally armed groups.
Oleg Dvigalev noted: “The pilots are happy to receive the new hardware that will open up new opportunities for them. They fully mastered the aircraft in 2015-2016 and even shared some experience with their Russian colleagues. We've fully mastered the entire set of airborne weapons. Among other things we've used the guided bomb KAB-500.” The officer also said that Yak-130 aircraft are also paired with Su-25 attack aircraft because the former boast more up-to-date targeting and navigation equipment.
It was Belarusian pilots who landed a Yak-130 aircraft in an airfield section of a motorway at night for the first time ever.
Acting Chief of the 116th Guards Attack Aircraft Air Base Dmitry Tsalko noted that all the necessary conditions are available at the base for mastering Yak-130 flying skills. The pilots were able to appreciate the quality of the new aircraft as they performed various missions, including in exercise areas.
Yak-130 (NATO designation – Mitten) is the world's only combat training aircraft with aerodynamic configuration and performance in subsonic flight that match those of modern jet fighters. Yak-130 allows training pilots to fly even advanced fifth-generation aircraft.