The Iranian Air Force has reportedly received Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 jet trainers, according to local media reports citing recently released images.
The Yak-130 can replicate the characteristics of several fourth-generation or even fifth-generation fighter jets, enabling Iranian pilots to undergo training in operating Russian-made fighters, including the Sukhoi Su-35.
Iran expects to receive “a number” of Russian fourth-generation fighter jets, the Sukhoi Su-35, according to multiple reports throughout 2023. In January 2023, local media reported that the country was expecting to receive the first fighter jets “early in the next Iranian year.” In Iran, the new year started in March 2023. Then, in March 2023, the country’s state media reported that Iran had finalized a contract to purchase Su-35 fighter planes from Russia.
The Yakovlev Yak-130 is an advanced subsonic trainer and light combat aircraft designed in the 1990s.
The aircraft entered service in 2010 with the Russian Air Force and is currently adopted by the Russian, Belarusian, Syrian, and several other air forces. NATO designates the aircraft with the reporting name “Mitten.”
A malfunctioning control system was blamed for several prior crashes of the Yak-130, including a crash of the prototype in 2006 and another in Belarus in 2021.