MOSCOW, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Russia's Irkut Corp. has signed a contract with the country's Defense Ministry for 55 Yak-130 jet trainers for delivery in 2015.
"As part of efforts to form a new image of the Russian armed forces, the Defense Ministry pays primary attention to equipping the armed forces with state-of-the-art hardware and to enhancing its combat capability," Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
"The new Yak-130 aircraft will help to improve pilots' skills and to train them to fly new-generation combat aircraft to be mass purchased by the Defense Ministry."
The Yak-130 combat trainer was developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau, an Irkut Corp. company. Russia's 2011-20 arms program calls for the purchase 65 of the aircraft.
The company said the aircraft can provide training for handling both Russian and foreign-made fourth- and fifth-generation combat aircraft.
Trials of the plane with weapon systems included have been successfully completed, Irkut added.