The Yak-130 is a twin-seat jet trainer, with the student pilot sitting in the front cockpit and the instructor behind. Both seats feature full glass displays, and the digital fly-by-wire (FBW) system allows either person to take control of the aircraft at any time.

The FBW is the bread and butter of the Yak-130. Instead of mechanical systems translating the pilot’s inputs to the flight controls, everything is done electronically by the flight computer. Besides making the aircraft easier to fly, the FBW can be reprogrammed to match the expected handling characteristics of the specific fighter jet the student is training to learn. So, no matter if the pilot will pilot the agile Su-27 Flanker or the heavier, more sluggish Su-25 Frogfoot, the Yak-130 can be adjusted to provide a fairly realistic training experience.

The Yak-130 is powered by a pair of Ivchenko-Progress AI-222-25 turbofan engines, which, like the flight controls, are also digital. From setting thrust levels to diagnostics and monitoring, everything is performed by a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system.

In the air, the pilot can select from various simulated training programs, such as air-to-air or air-to-ground combat scenarios. All mission details and relevant telemetry data, like airspeed and altitude, are displayed on the Head-Up Display (HUD). The Yak-130 also supports a helmet-mounted target designation system.

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