The  Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) integrates  Russian-supplied Yakovlev Yak-130 “Mitten”  aircraft, raising training and combat capabilities.

Russia and Iran:  Strategic Air Agreement

The recent supply of Yak-130 aircraft to the  IRIAF  by Russia was confirmed after images released on September 2. These showed a Yak-130 with IRIAF insignia, identified with national serial number 7-9701, operating out of the 8th Tactical Air Base at Isfahan International Airport.


Despite official confirmation, details such as the number of aircraft and delivery terms remain classified. This acquisition underscores Iran’s commitment to boosting its military aeronautics, with particular emphasis on training and combat.

The design of the  Yak-130 “Mitten”, with clear similarities to the Leonardo M-346 Master and the HAIG L-15 Lieying, reflects a shared development. With advanced training features and light attack capabilities, the Yak-130 can carry a variety of weaponry on its nine hardpoints.

Yak-130 “Mitten”:  Specifications and Capabilities

The Yak-130, the result of a collaboration between  Yakovlev and Aermacchi, began its development in 1991, making its maiden flight in 1996. In 2002, after winning a tender from the Russian government, it began service with the Russian Air Force in 2010.


Renowned for its versatility in training, it can emulate characteristics of 4+ generation fighters, including the advanced  Sukhoi Su-57. Additionally, it can carry out light attack and reconnaissance missions, carrying up to 3,000 kilograms of military equipment.

With state-of-the-art digital avionics and a Databus 1553, it features a fully digital cockpit and Fly-By-Wire System (FBWS). It also has dual GPS/GLONASS and advanced sighting systems.

Combat and Training Functions:  A Two-Two Approach

The main value of the  Yak-130  lies in its training capabilities. It can cover approximately 80% of the pilot training program, facilitating the transition to more advanced aircraft.

Beyond its educational role, the Yak-130 is equipped for attack and reconnaissance missions. With the ability to carry a variety of weapons, both guided and unguided, it fulfills multifaceted tasks in the war theater.

According to Konstantin Popovich, chief designer, the aircraft has successfully tested “all airborne weapons weighing up to 500 kg in service with the Russian Air Force.” This versatility further strengthens its position in the air military scenario.