Iran Receives Russian Yak-130 Advanced Trainer Jets

Recently, Iran received Russian Yakovlev Yak-130 training jets, as indicated by reports and pictures from Iranian media. Two Yak-130 combat trainers are currently in Iran's 8th Tactical Air Force Base near Isfahan. Images of the first Yak-130 Mitten aircraft for the IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) were released on Tasnim News Agency. 


The Yak-130's arrival is likely a precursor to the Russian Su-35 Flanker eventually joining the Iranian Air Force. 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. 

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Iran expects to receive “a number” of Russian fourth-generation fighter jets, the Sukhoi Su-35, according to multiple reports throughout 2023. This procurement of new aircraft makes sense, as it paves the way to more advanced “hardware” to modernize Iran’s Air Force, currently mostly based on Soviet/Russian and U.S. types procured before the 1979 revolution. 

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In fact, Yak-130 can be used to train Iranian pilots to fly 4th generation fighters: earlier this year, Iran announced that it had finalized a deal to buy as many as 24 Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.

Endless Possibilities

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