SHAH ALAM: Third user of YAK-130 Mitten in Southeast Asia. Vietnam reportedly had placed an order for at least 12 YAK-130 Mitten trainers from Russia. If the deal is confirmed, Vietnam will become the third user of the YAK-130 in Southeast Asia after Myanmar and Laos. Russian media outlet Vedomosti says the contract is worth $350 million.
The translated report.
Russia and Vietnam have returned to cooperation in the supply of aviation equipment. As two managers of defense industry enterprises told Vedomosti, in 2019 a contract was signed for the purchase of at least 12 Yak-130 combat training aircraft worth more than $ 350 million. The squadron of Russian aircraft acquired by the Vietnam Air Force should replace the obsolete Czechoslovak L-39s. delivered to the country since the beginning of the 1980s, one of the interlocutors says, probably, the Yak-130 will be transferred to the 915th training aviation regiment, formed at one of the Vietnamese air bases in 2018. The regiment also includes a helicopter squadron of the Air Force Vietnam People’s Army, the armed helicopters of the Mi-8.
Rosoboronexport and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FS MTC) refrained from commenting.
As you are aware RMAF is also seeking around 8 to 10 jet trainers or in RMAF parlance, the Fighter, Lead In Trainer (FLIT) as part of its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. The YAK-130 are one of the aircraft which is being considered for the programme as the manufacturer had responded to the RFI issued by RMAF. The YAK-130 was among the aircraft took part in LIMA 2019 following the issuance of the RFI.
The LCA has also been in the news lately although the Defence White Paper approved by Parliament late last year failed to expressly said that funding will be provided for the programme in the next RMK as envisioned by the RMAF planners.
As mentioned in the Russian report, the YAK-130 meant for Vietnam are jet trainers though it must be said these aircraft could easily be used as combat aircraft.
— Malaysian Defence