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MiG to develop new affordable jet trainer for Russia

An artist's rendering of the MiG-UTS shows it to be similar in appearance to the L-39 it is intended to replace. This is based largely on earlier design work done in the 1990s on the MiG-AT that is now being carried over. (Rostec)

Russia's Mikoyan (MiG) design bureau is developing a new affordable jet trainer aircraft to be used by the country's aviation forces, the Rostec conglomerate announced on 28 December.

The MiG-UTS will be a twin-seat, single-engined aircraft that will form part of a wider training system being developed.

“We have great doubts about the support for the operation of the [1970s-era Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros] aircraft, on which the main training of pilots is carried out today. Therefore, a new training facility is required, which will allow us to effectively train flight and technical personnel,” Sergey Korotkov, general designer and deputy general director of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), was quoted as saying by Rostec.

According to Janes World Air Forces , the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) operates 135 L-39 aircraft, which it uses for jet training alongside the more advanced (and more expensive) Yakovlev Yak-130 ‘Mitten'.

“We are creating the cheapest single-engine aircraft that is as cheap as possible, as easy to operate as possible – both in piloting and in maintenance, which fully meets the requirements for the stage of basic training,” Andrey Nedosekin, deputy managing director of the Design Bureau of Operational and Tactical Aviation and director and chief designer of the Mikoyan design bureau, said.

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