Russian airshow. Defying gravity (and) Future Yak-130 Team
Today, 42 Yak-130 Mittens have been delivered to the Russian Air Force, out of 55 that were ordered in a first batch. On December 26th, Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev annouced that a new batch would be ordered for the Air Force. Interestingly he also announced that a new Aerobatic Team would be formed, flying Yak-130s. This project had been announced two years ago, and then there was no further clues the Air Force would proceed further with it. In he meantime, it is still not known with precision what type of aircraft will definitely be flown by Strizhi aerobatic team at Kubinka. Strizhi (The Swifts) currently operate four to six MiG-29 Fulcrums, along Russkie Vityiazi (The Russian Knights), their Regiment collegues, who fly six Su-27s, flying alltogether to perform the Kubinka Diamond Nine during some of the big air events in the Russian Federation.
It was reported at MAKS 2013, that pilots of the Russkiye Vityazi (the Russian Knights) test flew there at Zhukovskii (during show days), the Su-30 SM two seats jet fighter, achieving several aerobatic maneuvers . It is confirmation that the team is to convert from their current Su-27s and Su-27 UBs to the Su-35/30SM. In the meantime, future of the other team, Strizhi (The Swifts) does not look clear at present. But several sources such as Novosti suggest will fly MiG-35s or Yak-130s. These plans to equip national teams based at Kubinka with 4+ generation jet fighters were officially announced by russian medias, one year ago exactly, on december 25th, 2012 (!). Further report here about MAKS 2013 : www.sky-lens.com/articles-airshows-europe.php?recordID=133