Russia will create a new aerobatics team flying Yak-130 Mitten combat trainers by 2015, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, said on Friday.
"We expect a new Yak-130 aerobatics team to be created by 2015,” Zelin said.
Last December, the aircraft construction company Irkut and the Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract for the supply of 55 Yak-130 by 2015.
The Yak-130 Mitten jet trainer/light attack aircraft is a subsonic two-seat aircraft developed by the Yakovlev design bureau. The first Yak-130s entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2009.
The Yak-130, with a maximum combat load of 3 tons, is able to replicate the characteristics of the latest generation fighters.
Russia currently has two aerobatic teams - Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) with a fleet of four Sukhoi Su-27P and two Sukhoi Su-27UB Flanker fighter aircraft, and Strizhi (Swifts), flying six MiG-29 Fulcrum fourth-generation fighter jets.
Zelin also said that the two Russian aerobatic demonstration teams have expressed interest in flying Su-35 Flanker-E supermaneuverable multirole fighters.