According to reports in the Russian media, Vietnam has signed a USD 350 million contract to buy at least 12 Yak-130 combat training aircraft from Russia.
The Yak-130 which is intended for training pilots of advanced fighter aircraft, can also be equipped with air-to-surface weapons including guided missiles and bombs. Russia has previously sold the aircraft to Algeria, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Belarus.
Russia is the largest arms supplier to Vietnam. Vietnam has been increasing its arms imports in the face of increasingly aggressive Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. In September 2018, Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Vietnam had placed orders for Russian weapons and military services worth more than USD 1 billion.
(Sources: Moscow Times; Reuters)