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Details were released earlier this year to several Russian media outlets and ESD about the Russian Federation’s combat aircraft exports. The airframe exports total 32 and comprise three types of aircraft, namely 12 Su-30SM, 10 MiG-29M/M2 and 10 Yak-130. All aircraft were produced for combat or combat training roles by the United Aircraft Corporation and delivered to customers through Rosoboronexport.

Su-30SM

The Sukhoi Su-30SM is one of the most popular warplanes of the Russian Air Force and a favourite abroad. Four of these aircraft were delivered to each Russian allied nations: Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia.

The Kazakhstan Air Force (KAF) was a “maiden export customer” for the Su-30SM when it became available for export in 2015; they purchased eight aircraft. The KAF placed another order at the KADEX-2018 exhibition with the jets to be delivered through 2019-2020 on a basis of four airframe delivered each year. Kazakhstan has the largest Su-30SM outside of Russia with a total of 16 planes.

Republic of Belarus purchased 12 Su-30SM in 2017 with deliveries to take place from 2019 through 2021. The first four were delivered to the National airbase in Baranovichi last November (2019).

Armenia received four Su-30SMs last December (2019) ahead of the scheduled 2020 delivery date. The total purchase is worth of $100 million, received as a loan from the Russian Federation.  The Su-30SMs dramatically increase the Armenia Air Force’s capability as their first multi-role combat aircraft.

MiG-29M/M2

The Arab Republic of Egypt received all 10 MiG-29M/M2 multi-role fighters based on a 2015 contract worth $2 billion. The total contract calls for 46 single-seat MiG-29M and 6 double-seat combat training MiG-29M2.

Since signing the contract, 16 planes were delivered in 2017 followed by another 12 planes in 2018. Adding the 10 of 2019 delivery the total amount of the aircraft being delivered to Egypt makes a total figure of 38 machines – eight more to go until the order is fulfilled.

The Republic of Belarus received four of the 10 mentioned Yak-130 advanced combat training aircraft. Since the first shipment in 2015 the total amount of these vehicles delivered to Belarus tops out at 12 air frame, so far.

The balance of the Yak-130s (six) went to the Republic of Myanmar. The delivery of these six planes happened in 2019, adding to the existing 12 airframes delivered between 2016 and 2018.

Yak-130

Early this year sources in the Russian aerospace industry confirmed that in 2019 a contract worth of $ 350 million was concluded with Vietnam upon delivery of 12 Yak-130 aircraft.

Pundits, readers and analysts should note the Yak-130 is often a preferred basic aircraft for pilot training because it is highly manoeuvrable, has an extended range of about 2,000 kilometres and a top speed of 1,060 km/h when in level flight. It is appealing to the export market because of its ability to carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kgs, that could include a mix of Russian and Western weapons / ordnance.

The amount of exported Russian combat aircraft remains stable since 2015, whereby an average of 34 aircraft are delivered annually despite the USA’s ineffective anti-Russian sanctions.

Yury Laskin