The Belarus Air Force is starting the beginning of its operations with the new Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced trainer and light attack aircraft, although the Belorussian pilots are still in their very first phase in getting to know the aircraft.
To the Belarusian state-owned news agency Belta Chief of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Belorussian Armed Forces, Major-General Oleg Dvigalev, said the first pilots will go to Russia at the end of February to familiarize themselves with the aircraft.
Belarus ordered four Yak-130s, of which the basis is similar to the Italian Alenia Aermacchi M-346 with whom the Yakovlev design bureau worked together in the early stages of development.
Russia and Belarus have a tight cooperation of their air forces. Two dozen Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27s (Flanker) are based at Baranovichi Airbase in Belarus, with the first arriving in 2013. They regularly train with the Belarus Air Force’s own Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29s of which between 10 and 12 upgraded MiG-29BMs are operational with another 30+ older versions in reserve. According to the Russian Ministry of Defence both countries conducted 300 combat training missions in 2014.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Yak-130 of the Russian Air Force in a overall grey paint scheme (Image © Irkut)