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Author Topic: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?  (Read 8953 times)

Offline tigershark

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Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« on: May 23, 2007, 01:37:39 AM »
Could country like Bolivia get by using a advance trainer like a Yak-130 instead of buying mid/large size fighters?  I think buying new modern trainers are better investments then buying used fighters.   I thought about this today when I saw the below story.   I think a Yak-130, plus radar would make a fine COIN aircraft but add in HMS and you a light weight fighter.



Russian Air Force to procure new Yak-130 trainers
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070521/65811354.html   

    21/ 05/ 2007
   
Print version

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force is planning to commission over 200 Yak-130 combat trainers, the Air Force commander said Monday.

"The Russian Air Force has selected its [future] combat trainer, namely the Yak-130," the new Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Alexander Zelin said. "We will need over 200 aircraft [of this type]."

The Yak-130 single-seat aircraft can be used as a light strike aircraft or as a trainer for fourth and fifth generation fighters. With a production line launched in May 2003, the plane is also being marketed for export.

"It is an excellent combat trainer with superior performance features," Zelin said, adding that the plane is now undergoing joint state tests.

"There are still some problems with the engines, but I think we will receive the final assessment on this aircraft by the end of the year," the commander said.

On July 26, 2006, a Yak-130 crashed in the Ryazan Region, about 150 miles southeast of Moscow, after a failure in the flight control system. But the Russian Defense Ministry later reaffirmed its plans to buy new Yak-130 planes regardless of the crash.

The Yak-130 is a highly maneuverable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and a maximum speed of 1,060 km/h (600 mp/h) in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kg (6,600 pounds), consisting of a variety of Russian and Western developed weapons.

The new aircraft will replace the L-39 Albatros trainer currently in service with the Russian Air Force.

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2007, 02:50:40 AM »
You don't need a radar for COIN. Some sensors and datalinks would be nice, mission and weapons computer, HUD, but all you really need is a couple of hardpoints... Most important is that you need a slow-moving, agile platform which performs great at low altitude, so advanced turbo-prop trainers are better suited than jet trainers. The new turbo-props are/can be fitted with advanced electronics and the same amount of hardpoints as jet trainers. Of course, an agile, slower jet trainer is still better for this job than fast jet fighters, such as the F-16.

But yes, the Yak-130 will do fine as light attack / fighter, just need to equip it with all the proper avionics. Take a look at the L-159 for example, derived from a trainer but equipped with radar and other advanced avionics and it does great as light combat aircraft, even gives some of its allies a run for their money in close quarters. Yakovlev is already planning a light combat aircraft variant of the Yak-130, and if you would show interest, I'm sure MiG will revive the MiG-AT to do similar things. Also the Korean AT-50, derived from the T-50 LIFT, is another great example of a quite capable light combat aircraft derived from an advanced trainer. BAE's Hawk is another one. With greater capability added you also get a bigger price tag though, which could make it as expensive to procure as some good second-hand upgraded supersonic fighters.

I think Bolivia is using the PC-7 as COIN aircraft, IMHO it lacks the punch and systems to do it effectively, Bolivia would do better with PC-9Ms or A-27/A-29, or T-6s if it can get US support. Iraq may be getting T-6 Texan IIs modified for COIN. But didn't they already have EMB 312 Tucano's on order?
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Offline tigershark

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2007, 05:14:36 AM »
EMB 312 Tucano's on order?
> I think they were canceled I'm looking for that now.   There are a lot of cool jet trainers out now and I do know about the ones you named and a few more as well.   I always wanted to know if the MIG-AT was killed for political reasons, or the fact that the Yak-130 is a little faster.   Something going on or wrong with the Yak-130 production, Algeria had placed an order since I think March 2006 and still nothing.   Like a lot of Russian projects they get a pre-model out to show off but then almost nothing.   I'm a big Fulcrum fan too and there Mig-35 is still two maybe three years away from being produced even know there showing at different shows now.   The model there calling a Mig-35 is really a upgraded Mig-29M2.   Russia own air force needs to get a squadron or two of both the Yak-130s and Mig-35s and then and only then will the real orders come in.   That South Korean advance trainer is hot it could be a light front line fighter for many country's will low or little threats nearby and for lower operational cost then  Viper too.   I assume that because there more modern and smaller in size but I could be wrong.

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2007, 01:03:06 PM »
MiG-AT competed with the Yak-130 for the Russian Air Force L-39 trainer replacement. At some point it was considered the Russian Air Force could operate a combined fleet, but finally the Yak-130 was selected. One reason I found was that it could also act as a light combat aircraft.  ;) I think the French engines and avionics also play a part.

So MiG-AT wasn't killed, the development of the trainer is said to be complete and ready for production. It just didn't get any orders domestically and fails to get any orders internationally... but all new trainers are strugling to get orders outside their domestic customers.

Algeria's Yak-130 are on the production line now, which means they'll see delivery in 2008... two year lead-time isn't bad for a military aircraft!!

One of the Yak-130 prototypes crashed, although it was stated at the time, that it wouldn't delay the program it did mean that the next Yak-130 produced took its place in the test program, which needed to be funded. So it did cause a little dent. But I think most delay is caused by lack of orders/funding, just like the delays on the Su-32/34. Russia is devoted to buying them, may have allocated funding for it, but hasn't really ordered the production... If they would have said they wanted a regiment of Yak-130s this year and funded it, then they'd probably have it.
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Offline tigershark

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2007, 06:05:44 PM »
"I think the French engines and avionics also play a part."
This was a early option when the design first can out but I can't find anything on that now that's current.   I know Russia has a law that all parts have to be Russian so for there trainer orders (if there's ever filled) will be pure Russian" engines and avionics" in them.   If Russia does buy them in numbers and if I were a future customer I might go with the Russian package because at least you know spare parts would be made for the future.   This is a cool jet but you'll know at this rate China might get there L-15 (almost a copy of the Yak-130) out first.   For countries flying old Mig-21/J-7s,a modern L-15 built as a light attack/fighter from the start might be a better option.   The advance trainer market is tough and I believe that you either produce a low cost K-8 type or a duel purpose type that can carry out other missions then just training.   Some of these advance trainers cost more then a used Vipers that has twice the payload and range so air forces must do there homework.   I assume in the years to come that the US Air Force might have a few B/D models Vipers for sale down the road in a bit,once the F-35s kick in?   I also think because of there low cost that two seat FC-1/JF-17s might be another way to go for trainers down the road.   A lot would depend on what  avionics & radar package would be allowed but at $15/18 million per you get a real jet fighter instead of a smaller less capable trainer, just a thought.

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Italy's armed forces intend to acquire 14 M-346 advanced fighter
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2007, 04:13:30 AM »
Italy's air force orders 14 M-346 advanced fighter, right behinds Russia order for there Yak-130.   I guess timing is everything. 

Finmeccanica to win govt order for 14 trainer aircraft - junior minister UPDATE

(Updating with further details on plane)

MILAN (Thomson Financial) - Italy's armed forces intend to acquire 14 M-346 advanced fighter trainer aircraft from Finmeccanica SpA unit Alenia Aermacchi, said defence under-secretary Lorenzo Forcieri.

Speaking in the margins of a conference, Forcieri said: 'The defence ministry has written in the last few days to the economic development minister about the request for 14 planes.'

An Aermacchi official said the Italian air force recently carried out tests on the M-346, adding he believed the outcome was positive.

The M-346 two-engine jet trainer exists in the form of two prototypes, while production of the first production model has started, he said.

The range of configurations for the plane make it difficult to give a price, he said, noting previous basic jet trainer planes cost 10 mln eur.

http://www.hemscott.com/news/latest-news/item.do?newsId=43853763972009

Offline Globetrotter

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 12:07:36 AM »
well, responding to your first post, and talking specifically about Bolivia's case, maybe it would be interesting for you to know that Argentina offered some time ago the Pampas to them. You know, they are trainers with good capabilities of attack, and above all, good price tag, which is very important for them. Thay would be changed for something, I think it was natural gas... Well, in any case they rejected the deal, don´t remember why... but I'll try to get the article where I read that, just to get this more "official" ;)
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Offline Globetrotter

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 12:09:13 AM »
I think Bolivia is using the PC-7 as COIN aircraft, IMHO it lacks the punch and systems to do it effectively, Bolivia would do better with PC-9Ms or A-27/A-29, or T-6s if it can get US support. Iraq may be getting T-6 Texan IIs modified for COIN. But didn't they already have EMB 312 Tucano's on order?

yeah, well, I see it a little bit complicated for them to get US help with the meassures Evo Morales, their president, is taking... But there are good possibilities even from South American countries, like Pucaras, or Pampas, as well as Tucanos... maybe an excedent of Dragonflies??
And Venezuela is on their side, would they sell to bean's price the F-16? Anyway, Bolivia wouldn't be able to mantain them flying... :-/
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 12:17:38 AM by Globetrotter »
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Offline tigershark

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 12:37:16 AM »
Just found two very clear pictures of the Chinese L-15 advance trainer and thought I would posted to this thread since it involves trainers.  I could see this being sold almost as is as a "light-fighter".   Slap a radar in and some SD-10 radar guided missiles and HMS to guide the PL-8/9 IR type missiles and your ready to go.  I wonder if China will get this to production and then to market before Russia gets there Yak-130s to market?   

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« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 12:42:28 AM by nonpilot »

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Re: Could advance trainer be good COIN aircraft?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2007, 03:35:32 AM »
Globe, that may also be the reason why the Pampa sale fell through, it's mostly US components, and the current AT-63 which would be perfect for COIN was even a joint development with Lockheed. Also, I am not sure Bolivia has the funds for it. It may be in exchange for natural gas, but it's not like you can't sell that to anyone else.  ;)

Nice photos, nonpilot. Hehe, with every new-Chinese aircraft picture, I wonder if it isn't a fake... but well, let's say it's original. It looks like it has quite some thrust, two engines with quite big exhaust for such a little plane. Definately inspired on the Yak-130/M-346. Is Russia/Yakovlev involved?

You need a very small radar, and although China has small radars, not that capable. I don't think the same radar as FC-1/JF-17 fits. So you need a Grifo, bit difficult for most customers buying Chinese. Also its wings seem very small, to hang any serious arms under it. I don't think it will be a serious Yak-130 competitor. I think it will compete more with China's K-8 trainer, just like Aermacchi is doing with their M-311 and M-346 now. Basic jet trainer vs Advanced jet trainer, most export countries that buy Chinese just want a "jet trainer"...

Anyway, looks like Pakistan can buy a nice piece of Chinese engineering again, before India has sorted out the bugs on its indigenous HJT-36.  :P
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