Tag Archives: Yakovlev

Closure looms for famous Monino museum

The famous Monino aviation museum in Moscow may very well close its doors in the not-too-distant future and see parts of its unique collection of aircraft scrapped. A small number of airplanes could move to Kubinka airbase as part of the new ‘Patriot’ museum.

East of Moscow, Monino offers a fascinating collection of MiGs, Sukhois, Yakovlevs, Ilyuhsins and Tupolevs, many of them prototypes, early production models or otherwise rare aircraft. The museum is unique in every aspect, its number of exhibits not in the least. Many dozens of aircraft are on display.

New display

Moscow ordered the building of the new ‘Patriot’ museum near Kubinka airbase to the west of Moscow. The base is home to Russian Air Force flight testing. Construction for the new museum started in 2014, and the location is now ready for items to be displayed. These should include a number of aircraft from Monino, with the remainder at Monino possibly to be scrapped.

Fall apart

Many aircraft at Monino, especially the larger ones, are deemed unfit for any kind of transportation as they would likely fall apart in the process. The Monino museum has been short on funds for maintenance for years.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: An Antonov AN-14A at the Russian Air Force Museum in Monino in 2001 (Image © Alan Wilson)

Fleet-size upgrade Belarusian Air Force

The Belarusian Air Force started to upgrade almost its entire fleet of aircraft. The most ambitious part: to replace the 24 older MiG-29s “Fulcrum” combat jets with state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-30SM “Flanker” aircraft between 2020 and 2030.

Airbrake out on this Belarusian Yak-130 (Image © Irkut)
RELATED POST: Belarus attack strategy – team up Yak-130 with Su-25

During a meeting with journalist from Belarusian state press agency BelTA Major-General Oleg Dvigalev, Chief of Staff of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence, said that his people already test-flew the Su-30SM during the recent MAKS International Airshow in Moscow.

Although the general did not say how many Flankers he would like the buy, we at Airheadsfly.com believe that the 13 MiG-29s upgraded to BM standard in the early 2000s will stay a bit longer, while up to 18 Su-30SMs will be purchased. The number is based on earlier statements by the Belarusian military leadership.

Rotary wing
Meanwhile the country’s rotary wing of 20 Mil Mi-35 attack helicopters and 5 Mi-26 heavy-lift choppers is expecting a boost with the arrival of 12 Mi-8MTV-5 choppers, the first six in 2016 and the second batch in 2017. They are an upgraded version of the 18 to 25 Mi-8/Mi-17s the Belarusian Air Force has already on strength and are expected to replace some of them.

Airlift and attack
One of the two Ilyushin IL-76 strategic airlifters is currently being brought back to airworthy status, while the second batch of four Yakovlev Yak-130 light attack and advanced jet trainers has been ordered some time ago. The backbone of the Belarusian Air Force’s ground attack capacity, between 40 and 68 operational Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” jets, will remain in service – as well as two to four Antonov An-26 transport aircraft and a handful of Mil Mi-2 utility helicopters.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): The Sukhoi Su-30SM (Cy-30CM) during a test flight (Image © Irkut)

Belarus attack strategy: team up Yak-130 with Su-25

The Belarusian Air Force is implementing a new strategy to make its ground attack raids more successful. With the introduction of the new and modern Yak-130 advanced jet trainer in the light attack role, the Eastern European military sees new possibilities by teaming the new aircraft up with the older Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot”.

On paper such a combined package looks rather good. The highly maneuverable Yak-130 with its contemporary sensors and newer navigation systems in theory serves as an excellent fast armed recon, forward air controller, targeting aircraft and light attack aircraft, while the older Su-25 brings it an impressive weapon capacity of up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg) on 11 hardpoints. Not that the Yak-130 by itself is so bad with up to 6,600 lbs (3,000 kg) on 9 hardpoints.

A Belarusian Air Force Yak-130 armed to the teeth (Image © Irkut)
A Belarusian Air Force Yak-130 armed to the teeth (Image © Irkut)
The first batch of four Yak-130 of the Belarusian Air Force at the flightline during the official ceremony of introduction (Image © Irkut)
The first batch of four Yak-130 of the Belarusian Air Force at the flightline during the official ceremony of introduction (Image © Irkut)
Airbrake out on this Belarusian Yak-130 (Image © Irkut)
Airbrake out on this Belarusian Yak-130 (Image © Irkut)
A pair of Russian Air Force Su-25s (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A pair of Russian Air Force Su-25s similar to the ones in use by the Belarusian Air Force (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)

With four Yak-130s delivered an another four on their way, Minks sees a package of a package of one Yak-130 and one Su-25, or two of each in a four pack, as the attack element of choice when it comes to engaging ground targets or performing close-air support.

The first tests of the new tactic with the combination of both planes took place in the beginning of September. The Yak-130 carried out the navigation, and the Su-25 came in for the kill.

Irkut of Russia is expected to deliver the second batch of four Yakovlev-designed Yak-130 in 2016 to the Belarusian Air Force. The country keeps an official strenght of 68 Su-25s, with an estimated third to half of the fleet fully operational and the rest in various stages of maintenance or repair.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by Irkut
Featured image (top): A Belarusian Yak-130 (Image © Irkut)

Belarus Air Force Yak-130 aircraft arrived

The first two Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced training jets for the Belarus Air Force have arrived at Lida Airbase. They arrived on board a IL-76 transport aircraft, the first on 15 April, the second on 18 April.

Two more of the jets – which share the base design with Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346, are expected to arrive soon. Belarus military pilots have been training at Zhukovsky in Russia on the type, which is produced by the Irkut Aircraft Production Company. Familiarization with the jets started in February.

Belarus intends to use the Yak-130s as light combat aircraft as well, promoting its range of weapons in official publications. The jets can carry up to 6630 lbs (3000 kg) of payload on nine external hardpoints. The Belarus jets have a green camouflage livery on top and a grey monotone paint on the bottom.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel burger
Featured image (top): One of the first two Yak-130 of the Belarus Air Force on its delivery flight on board a IL-76 airlifter (Image © Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus)

Although not entirely the same paint scheme as the Belarusian jets have, this is the official promo photo the Government in the capital of Minsk released, showing loads of weaponry with the Yak-130 (Image © Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus)
Although not entirely the same paint scheme as the Belarusian jets have, this is the official promo photo the Government in the capital of Minsk released, showing loads of weaponry with the Yak-130 (Image © Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus)

Belarus Air Force starts Yak-130 ops

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.

Sukhoi Su-27s
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)

Related: Russian Yak-130s in long-range test flights
AND: Russia re-opens Belarus and Arctic airbases