A Russian Perspective on the Evolving Military Aviation Market

11/12/2011 Aero3A News and Communications Agency has provided an interesting interview with Alexei Fedorov President of IRKUT Corporation which gives a sense of his views on the evolving military aviation marketspace.  These questions and responses were prepared for the forthcoming Dubai Air Show.

What are perspectives of IRKUT Corp on markets of combat aviation in Middle East and North Africa?

Alexei Fedorov, President Irkut Corporation Credit: Aero3A News and Communications Agency

These markets are of priority for us. IRKUT Corp has got the experience of long-term and fruitful cooperation with Algeria. Su-30 MK multi-functional fighters are successfully operational with the Algerian Air Force. The contract of their delivery, signed up in 2006, was completed by IRKUT two years back. After getting satisfied with outstanding characteristics of the fighter, in 2010 Algeria ordered its one more batch.

In 2011 the Algeria Air Force will get Yak-130 trainer, being just manufactured at the IRKUT’s plant in the Irkutsk-City in Russian Siberia. Algerian pilots have enough experience of flying the plane and do really like it.

Our expectations on further development of cooperation with the region are strongly focused on the Yak-130.

Please, clarify why it is precisely this aircraft?

In fact, the Yak-130 is a subsonic combat trainer of advanced training capacity of the new generation and in this aspect it is the first in the world. It differs from trainers of previous generation by its capacity to provide a full-scale training of pilots for fighters of “4+” and “5” generations. The trainer matches them in its maneuverability, thrust-to-weight ratio, capability of flight at high angle of attack, IT software of the pilot’s cockpit

The Russian Air Force has got the first batch of Yak-130 and they are used in training of future pilots in full. The Russian Air Force’s development program visualizes an acquisition of a really big number of the trainer.

Nowadays we place our main efforts on expanding markets for Yak-130. A major focus is being made on increasing its combat capacities. The trainer is able even now to carry up to three tons of weaponry, including both conventional and guided ones. For enhancing the Yak-130’s armory we consider an option of its equipment with the optic-electronic aiming system. A next step will be an installation of radar. After that the Yak-130 trainer will be fully capable to fulfill its assignments both training and combat ones.

We realize that many countries worldwide, this region including, are inclined to have this type of aircraft in their inventory. It is capable to undertake such important combat tasks like fighting against terrorism, destruction of low-speed air and point ground targets.

Your Corporation has got its recognition worldwide mainly due to Su-30MKI fighter. What are perspectives of its further development?

IRKUT Corp still strongly keeps its position of the supplier of heavy multi-functional fighters to highly competitive foreign markets. Our Su-30MK order book is full up to 2017.

There are good chances to increase it by export and local orders. Next year we plan to sign up a Su-30MKI supply contract with the Russian MoD. This project is being undertaken by us jointly with Sukhoi Design Bureau. Following requirements of the Russian Air Force, a part of on-board systems will be replaces and Russianized.

Besides, we expect big deals on modernization of Su-30MKs delivered long before. So, a program on modernization of the Indian AF Su-30 stable is being prepared. Due to renovation of the on-board systems, the fighter’s combat performances will be enhanced considerably.

The Indian Air Force is also interested in expanding the Su-30MKI weaponry with BrahMos supersonic missiles. As a result, a unique weaponry system will come up, capable to fight against combat vessels of all classes.

Su-30MK Program will continue to develop for a long time ahead. At the same time, without decreasing the volume of its military hardware production, IRKUT Corp will increase manufacturing of civil aircraft.

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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