Rosoboronexport and the Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh have signed a contract for delivery of 24 Yak-130 operational trainers. The document was signed in the fourth quarter of 2013; the contract’s value is about $800 million. The jets will be purchased using credit provided by Russia to Bangladesh in January 2013. The first batch of Yak-130s should be delivered to the customer next year, Kommersant reports.
CEO of Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaykin, told journalists about the signing of the contract. "The jets will be purchased in the network of the state credit",— he added and reminded that the agreement on providing Bangladesh with the credit amounting to $1 billion was reached during a meeting between the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Prime-minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, held in Kremlin last January.
Sources close to military-technical cooperation system said that the provision of this credit is a “geopolitical gesture”, which will “demonstrate our interest in promotion of the weapons at South Asian markets". The sources believed that Bangladesh will be interested in purchasing Mi-171 and Mi-17V5 helicopters, BTR-80 armored infantry vehicles, T-72 tanks, Su-27, Su-30MK2 and MiG-29SMT fighters.
Such contracts may have been implemented, the source noted, but these requirements of the Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh would have exceeded the limits of the provided credit and Moscow was not going to provide any additional funds. That is why the Ministry had to reconsider its orders several times in order to stay within a budget. In the end the parties agreed on purchase of Yak-130 jets as an “intermediate” option: thanks to its performance the aircraft is able to accomplish different missions. "They will be able to train pilots and conduct operations if necessary", — the source noted.
According to the Vice-president on Marketing and Foreign Economic Cooperation of Irkut Corporation (parent company of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, manufacturer of Yak-130 jets), Vladimir Sautov, the jets will be delivered in basic configuration: the only request of the customer was to translate into English all the indication and signs located in the cockpit. According to preliminary information, the plant will start deliveries in 2015.