Bangalore: That the Indian Air Force is seriously contemplating the purchase of 40 additional Su-30 MK1 obviously has its makers, Russia's Irkut Corporation overjoyed. But the Russian company is not resting on its laurels. It has designs on India's large procurement programme, and among the aircraft it proposes to offer to India are the Yak-130 combat trainer, the Be-200 multi-role amphibious plane and a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Developed by the Yakolev Design Bureau, the Yak-130 two-seat combat trainer was selected in 2002 as the main aircraft for basic and advanced training for pilots of the Russian Air Force. It is part of a training aids suite which includes an integrated independent monitoring system, computer-furnished classrooms, as well as navigational and special-purpose simulators. The aircraft's control systems have a reprogramming capability that allows pilots to quickly learn how to handle modern combat aircraft like the Su-30, the MiG-29 and their foreign counterparts. It has nine suspension points, and can carry up to three tonnes of ordnance.
The Be-200 multi-role amphibious plane is designed for firefighting, search and rescue, sea patrolling, ecology monitoring, as well as freight and passenger transportation. Its excellent aerodynamic and hydrodynamic qualities make it comparable to conventional aircraft in flight performance, offering the advantage of landing and take-off both on the ground and water.
Irkut's family of UAVs include the Irkut 2F/T, the Irkut-20, the Ircut-60, the Ircut-200 and the Irkut-850, for a variety of surveillance and remote sensing applications, including helping to handle disturbances in public order. They all have low operating and maintenance costs, and are very self-sufficient owing to a minimal need for aerodrome facilities.