18 April 2012
Russia has decided to join a tender on the delivery of six light fighter jets to the Philippines with its new Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten combat trainer, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.
“We are taking part in the Philippine tender with the Yak-130 aircraft,” deputy general director of Rosoboronexport, Viktor Komardin, said at the Defense Services Asia-2012 arms show in Malaysia.
The tender for six aircraft to replace the retired U.S.-built Northrop F-5A Tiger fighters was announced last year. The results will be made public in two to three months, the Russian official said. Two rival designs, the Italian Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and South Korea's KAI TA-50, are also competing in the tender.
The Philippines is a new market for Russian arms exporters. Manila used to order military equipment mainly from the United States.
“We regard this tender as an opportunity to expand our influence in the region and to demonstrate the capabilities of our military equipment,” Komardin said.
The Yak-130 is a highly maneuverable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and a maximum speed of 1,060 km/h (600 m/h) in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), consisting of a variety of Russian and Western developed weapons.
The Yak-130 has been chosen as a basic aircraft for Russian Air Force pilot training. First deliveries started in 2009.