Russia is set to start delivery of nine Yak-130 fighter jets to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian forces. The contract between Russia and the Assad regime in Syria is structured to facilitate the delivery of 36 Yak-130’s by the end of 2016.
Last year, the Russian state-defense company was paid a $100 million advance for the first five jets. The total contract amount signed onto by both parties for the 36 jets is $550 million.
The Yak-130 can be used as a training fighter jet as well as an air-to-ground attack aircraft. It can carry a combat load of 6,600 pounds. It has a max speed of 652 miles per hour and a total range of 1,582 miles per tank. The Yak-130’s estimated per-unit cost is $15 million.
According to its manufacturer, the Yak-130:
…is a swept mid-wing monoplane of a classical configuration with two-seat tandem cockpit and two turbofan engines with 2500 kg thrust each. Each cockpit of the aircraft is equipped with three multifunctional colored 6×8 inches LCD displays. The aircraft aerodynamic configuration and flight and power plant controls performance make it possible to operate the aircraft essentially at all flight conditions, typical of modern and advanced combat aircraft. High thrust/weight ratio provides high sustained maneuvering load factors, takeoff performance and rate of climb. The air intakes and landing gear design with high take-off/landing performance make it possible to operate the aircraft from unpaved runways small unprepared airfields.
Since 2011 when the Civil War broke out in Syria, Russia has remained allied with current President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Armed Forces. In supporting Assad, Russia has been accompanied by the Iranian regime under Ayatollah Khamenei along with the Lebanon-based Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah
On April 1st, it was estimated that the total deaths during the Syrian Civil War had surpassed 150,000 people. The Syrian Observatory for human rights reported one-third of the deaths accounted for were innocent civilians.