One of an undisclosed number of Yak-130 advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft that Iran has recently received from Russia. (Fars News)
Iran has received an undisclosed number of Yakovlev Yak-130 ‘Mitten' advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft from Russia, footage and imagery posted online on 2 September revealed.
At least one aircraft in Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) markings and high-visibility livery with national serial number 7-9701 was filmed flying at the 8th Tactical Air Base at Isfahan International Airport.
Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported the government as saying the type was being acquired from Russia to improve the training and combat capabilities of the IRIAF. No further details as to the final number, delivery timeline, operating units, roles, or basing were disclosed.
Similar in appearance to the Leonardo M-346 Master (the two share a common development path) and also the HAIG L-15 Lieying, the Yak-130 is a twin-seat, twin-engined advanced jet trainer aircraft with a secondary light attack capability. The IRIAF aircraft was shown fitted with underwing and wingtip pylons, indicating it is provisioned for this secondary role for which it has nine hardpoints for rocket pods, air-to-surface missiles, machine guns/cannons, and guided and/or unguided bombs.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 3,000 kg, a top speed of 572 kt, a range of 1,600 km, a service ceiling of 41,020 ft, and an endurance of three hours (with two drop tanks) plus the option for a removable in-flight refuelling probe.