The refit will allow the Yak-130 to perform combat roles comparable to the Su-25SM2 attack aircraft.

Russia plans to transform its Yak-130 training aircraft into an assault aircraft, PJSC Yakovlev Director General Andrey Boginsky reveals.

The transformation of the Yak-130: adaptation to guided weaponry

Boginsky has stated that the Yak-130, produced at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, will undergo a substantial facelift. The adaptation will include incorporating the most modern types of guided weapons by installing a new radar and an advanced aiming system with optoelectronic technology.

The Rostec Consortium of Radio Electronic Technologies (KRET) has previously revealed the creation of a new radar and an optoelectronic aiming and navigation system for the Yak-130, key elements in the upgrade.

The revamp will enable the Yak-130 to perform combat roles comparable to the Su-25SM2 attack aircraft, including strikes on both ground and air targets, Vladimir Mikheev, KRET’s first deputy director general, has said.

Upgrade of motors and digital control system

Yak-130: Russia Converts Training Plane into Attack Aircraft

In addition to the aiming and weapon systems, it has been indicated that the assault version of the Yak-130 could receive improvements to its engines. Although no specific details were provided in 2016, the Salyut Research and Production Center was already working on an engine with a digital control system, the SM-100, based on the AI-222-25 engine.

The SM-100 engine promises improved after-burning thrust and improvements in altitude-speed and dynamic characteristics. However, the completion of the work on this engine and its subsequent certification has not yet been officially announced.

In 2021, the service life of the prototype of the modernized AI-222-25 powerplant has doubled, as confirmed by Alexei Gromov, head of the Salyut Research and Production Complex.

Weight and consumption reduction with modernized engine

The modernized AI-222-25 engine offers significant advantages in addition to its longer service life. It has been equipped with digital automatic monitoring and control electronic system (FADEC), which reduces its specific weight and consumption, improving the thrust-weight ratio.

This improvement results in considerable fuel savings and increases the distance of a direct flight. According to Rostec, the technical characteristics of the modernized powerplant will make it possible to use the Yak-130M for training and combat purposes.

What is the Yak-130, and how is it modernized?

The Yak-130 is a combat training aircraft of Russian origin, developed by the Yakovlev company. The modernization of the Yak-130 will include adaptation to the latest guided weapons, the installation of a new radar and a new optoelectronic aiming system.

What improvements will the new Yak-130M incorporate?

The assault version of the Yak-130M will incorporate a new radar system and an optoelectronic aiming and navigation system. This will allow the use of high-precision missile weapons and increase the ability to strike ground and air targets without entering the enemy air defense zone.

Will the Yak-130 have additional armor in its assault version?

So far, there is no official information regarding the additional armor on the assault version of the Yak-130. However, the modernization may include improvements in this aspect as well.

What kind of engine will the modernized Yak-130 have?

The modernized Yak-130 will feature an upgraded engine, specifically the AI-222-25 model. This powerplant offers greater afterburning thrust, improves altitude-speed and dynamic characteristics, and features lower specific weight and lower fuel consumption, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and flight distance.

What will the new Yak-130M be used for?

The technical improvements of the Yak-130M will allow its use not only for training purposes but also for combat operations, bringing its capabilities closer to those of the Su-25SM2 attack aircraft. This includes the ability to attack ground and air targets without the need to penetrate enemy air defense.