posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 02:55 PM
MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Air Force is looking to purchase 250 new Yak-130 aircraft to train pilots, a senior aviation official said
Like they were going to 'really soon now!' introduced the Su-35 back in the 90s? You have to realize that the Russian word is so highly devalued
after a solid decade and a half of hollow bragadaccio that the only thing we look for is contracts with foreign countries that actually have the cash
to back up their orderbook with real planes.
The Yak-130 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 actively touted for export.
It lacks either the pylon count, wing area or thrust loading to carry a decent payload and without smart weapons suite (LGTM and a targeting pod at
least) it cannot emulate the 'level, high, sly' standard of even basic smart bombing. Similarly, without supersonic capability, all you can offer
is leadin training and that's something that should be common to both fastjet and commercial or cargo tracks because _most fighters fly better than
most airliners_ when it comes to smooth, steady, slightly fast, approaches. And yet this is all that the Yak has the performance margin to replicate.
Along with procedurals and basic formation work.
"We need 250 aircraft of this kind, which will account for 75% of the total training fleet, while the remainder will comprise the MiG-AT Miser combat
trainer," Air Force Commander Vladimir Mikhailov said.
Which is simple the Russian way of saying they are still constipated with favoritism and partisan politics. You didn't need a Delphin and an
Albatross but you got them. The problem being that, again, 'even a trainer' is going to cost Russia more than it can afford as anything like a
reasonable (scalar economics) purchase. 333 jets X6-8 million each = 2.7 BILLION dollars.
And for what? I'm sure you are running the ragged edge of competent pilot corps but if you get them out of UPT and into track and then into the
squadrons where they STILL only fly 20-60hrs /per year/ on-type, their tactical competencies as well as their desire to reup will remain just next to
He said production would start in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, in addition to an already operating plant in the Volga region city of Nizhny Novgorod,
to meet demand, and that four Yak-130 were undergoing flight testing.
I don't know the politics of the production centers anymore, so much has changed since the Cold War. But that is almost certainly what this is
speaking to, either industrially or by regional powerblocks.
"The tests are successful and there is no doubt the production of these aircraft will increase," Mikhailov said.
The only reason to make big-words promises at this point is if Italy's clone needs s a big start-order customer to point at in justifying their own
Westernized 'really works!' version.
Testing, including spin and combat tactics trials, will be completed this year prior to delivery of the planes to the Air Force.
Whoopy. If you don't have a lightweight (Hellfire or Dominator) class, self homing, weapon as well as dumb-IAM options _small enough to be
exploited_ by this class airframe, it's just next to worthless. Because by the time you integrate radar and onboard targeting your weight and costs
are going to be important issues for what SHOULD BE little more than an airliner-profiled bombwagon. Straight and Level, too high for trashfire, drop
on command from engaged forces or UAV target cue.
Mikhailov also said four Yak-130 training aircraft with AI-222-25 engines, which are to be used in fifth-generation aircraft, were undergoing flight
Like anyone gives a damn. Twin engines on a trainer are only important if you are planning on switching to multiengine followon platforms and to be
honest Russia can't afford such luxury in either their combat or training spares pipes (twice everything means twice the failure rates). OTOH, if
your engines are _reliable_ you don't /need/ more than one, especially on a subsonic trainer system where T/Wr doesn't mean much to sustained energy
performance. And thus /combat/ performance is even less (loaded down with drap and weight). Making standoff the driving performance variable.
Can anyone explain me what is a "Light strike Aircraft"? How is it diffrent from Light combat aircraft?
Strike was original a word reserved for nuclear capable platforms. In the 60's light strike would include the A-4 and Sepecat Jaguar and even the
Harrier I suppose.
Today it basically means bombing the crap outta people that can't fight back with more than light AAA and MANPADS at best. As such it is more akin
to a 'COIN' aircraft like the OV-10, A-37 or even early F-5A/C. As others have mentioned, armed trainers have been around for quite awhile and
while their success depends a _great deal_ on understanding the limits of their employment (no where that effective VSHORADS can be found. ABSOLUTELY
nowhere that high performance threat air is located, and not more than about 50-100nm from base), they can be employed in secondary combat zones on
the fringes of a main battlefield. And have been since WWII when the Germans used Hs.123 and similar (largely bipe) trainer/observation platforms as
COIN ships in the Balkans, Norwegian, African and Russian theaters.
What is it specifically used?
Guns, Rockets and light bombs in the 50-500lb category are typical, the types of weapons only useful on fielded forces in open view or 'guerillas'
and their villages. Delivery then being through a primitive gyro-LCOSS or HUDWAC type bombing system requiring that the typical LSA be used under
10,000ft (often under 3,000ft) against targets which the pilot can directly MOB spot (and which see him bloody well too). Weapons load weight,
aerodynamic limits and the need to keep speed on the airframe after what is almost certain to be an overflight (laydown or shallow dive-toss) pass
will further limit the number of attack profiles used and specifically the count and carriage mode of the platform (i.e. many armed traners use
lightweight containerized rocket/gun systems or bomblet 'dispensers' incompatible with other, frontline, jets, they just can't take the weight).
While some of the later aircraft, notably the AT-29, can and do mount internal targeting systems, the cost of these plus the glass cockpit to use them
drives cost up into the high teens for a turboprop and low twenties for a jet, making them non-competitive with 'real' fighter/bombers.
...and what are the popular Light strike Aircrafts in this world?
Actually, many nations have, at one time or another, imagined themselves to be 'self sufficient' airpowers or nascent aircraft building nations,
only to discover that they are spending their money to buy design influence or major systems components from a 'sponsoring' (debt ownership) Western
power for aircraft with intrinsic (deliberately engineered) flaws which render them useless wastes of money in the long term.
As such, you can name multiple variations of existing jets, Alphajet-Pampa, Hunter-Galeb, Jaguar-Super Galeb, MB.326-AT-26 Xavante, AT-3/S-211 and
of course the Marut/Gnat/Ajeet variations. There also being slews of real and converted propjob modifications which are basically centered around
Civillian baseline airframes (The 60's and 70's African wars saw many such utility/sport aircraft conversions of bush planes). The Skymaster was
popular at one point while the 'classic' Bird Dog is more or less a militarized Piper Cub for technology equivalency. More recently, the
Pilatus/Shorts line of turbotrainers in the PC-x and Tucano lineup have also been used for specific missions (Iraq as an anti-helicopter gun platform