BAKU—A Russian aircraft manufacturer has confirmed that Baku is planning to purchase an unknown number of Yak-130 combat aircraft, further increasing Russia’s sale of military hardware to Azerbaijan.
The Baku-based APA news agency reported Tuesday that last year Azerbaijani pilots trained on the Yak-130, known by NATO as Mitten, and became acquainted with the aircraft’s technical and tactical components.
Earlier this month, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian expressed Yerevan’s cautious concerns over the increase in Russian military equipment sale to Azerbaijan, saying in an interview with the Buenos Aires-based Clarin newspaper that “It is a very painful subject and our people are worried that our strategic ally sells weapons to Azerbaijan.”
Since 2010, Russia has sold an estimated $4 billion worth of military hardware to Azerbaijan.
RFE/RL citing the UN Register of Conventional Arms, reported Wednesday that Azerbaijan purchased 72 tanks, 34 armored vehicles, 456 artillery systems, 37 attack helicopters and 1,200 rockets and missile systems from Moscow from 2007 to 2013.
The Yak-130, which was manufactured in the 1990s has been in use since 2009, and is generally for pilot training in combat, equipped with guided and unguided missiles.
According to RFE/RL the Armenian Defense Ministry did not comment on this most recent news.