Wings for pilots
Air force fleet updated with combat-training Yak-130, in green-grey, delivered from Irkutsk Aircraft Factory to Lida, on board an Il-76
The Ministry of Defence notes that, following Belarusian-Russian agreements to develop military-technical co-operation, four such fighter planes are being delivered to Belarus this year, for use in training pilots to fly a wider range of craft (including modern, fifth generation).
Alexey Dorokhov, who heads aircraft testing at Irkutsk Aircraft Factory, tells us, “Using the Yak-130, pilots can master such planes as the MiG-29 or Su-27.” The new Yak boasts excellent manoeuvrability and the latest in radio-electronic equipment, with high reliability and durability. Moreover, it is the only training craft to have aerodynamic configuration, and to use subsonic speeds (similar to those of a modern jet fighter). Its nine storage stations can carry about 3,000kg of ammunition, including guided missiles and bombs and various guns.
Belarusian fighter pilots currently train in the city of Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
By Dmitry Ampilov