Iran receives Yak-130 jet trainer from Russia
The Islamic Republic acquires the Yak-130 jet trainer from Russia as the latter seeks to help its ally bolster its aerial capabilities.
The Iranian Air Force has recently acquired a fleet of advanced Yakovlev Yak-130 jet trainers, marking a significant uptick in the country's military aviation capabilities.
The acquisition, which includes the delivery of these Russian-made aircraft, is aimed at enhancing the training and preparedness of Iranian military pilots.
Developed through a collaboration between Russia's Yakovlev and Italy's Aermacchi, the Yak-130 is a subsonic two-seat jet trainer and light combat aircraft designed to prepare pilots for handling advanced fighter jets, including 4+ and fifth-generation models like the Sukhoi Su-57. This acquisition is expected to bolster Iran's military readiness and strengthen its regional standing.
Undated image and video leak of Yak-130 in Isfahan, Iran. Yesterday there were rumours that 2 Yak-130s had been transferred to Iran, and today these images have been shared through unofficial sources.— Aᴍɪʀ (@AmirIGM) September 2, 2023
These trainers are Iran's first observed practical step to adopting Su-35s. pic.twitter.com/osIgwwCNOr
The Yak-130 has a distinguished history, having been in service since 2011 and adopted by several air forces around the world, including Russia, Algeria, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Belarus, Myanmar, and Syria.
The aircraft's versatile design allows it not only to serve as a trainer but also to perform light-attack and reconnaissance missions. With a combat load capacity of 3,000 kg, it can carry a variety of guided and unguided weapons, auxiliary fuel tanks, and electronic pods, making it a formidable asset in any combat scenario.
Iran has been actively working on developing its own aircraft capabilities as well. In March, the Iranian Defense Ministry initiated the assembly line production of the Yasin jet trainer, a domestically designed and manufactured aircraft.
Yasin is not only capable of carrying out combat missions but also excels in close air support roles. It features several key components, such as a homegrown ejection seat, avionics, engine, and landing gear.
One noteworthy aspect of Yasin's technology is its airborne weather radar, which is sourced from domestic knowledge-based companies. This Iranian radar technology underscores the Islamic Republic's commitment to advancing its aviation capabilities and reducing its reliance on foreign components.
Iran and Russia's defense cooperation saw the former give Moscow a batch of UAVs prior to the Ukraine war that Russia used in an onslaught on Ukraine, dealing severe blows to Kiev on numerous fronts and garnering Tehran a new batch of sanctions over its ties with Russia.
Iran's mission to the UN told Sputnik back in March that a deal had been reached by Iran to purchase Russian Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, but the delivery time and quantity have been classified.
Later that month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian assured that Tehran and Moscow were boosting their cooperation, including in the military field.
In April, the Iranian Ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, said that the bilateral relations between his country and Moscow have been reaching new levels in light of both countries having a similar and sometimes unanimous approach toward regional and international issues.
Even Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber said during a meeting with the Russian President’s Special Aide Igor Levitin that both countries could become the export center of some food items in the region with joint production and investment.