Russia Selling Syria 36 Attack Jets

As Syria’s damn near civil war continues, Russia is selling the Bashar al Assad’s regime 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 attack jets under a freshly inked $550 million contract.

As Business Insider says, ‘nobody tells Russia who they can’t sell arms to.’  Not even when it’s a pariah regime that’s killed more than 5,000 of its own people in the last ten months.

Or as Russia’s foreign minister explains in this AP article:

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that Moscow doesn’t consider it necessary to offer an explanation or excuses over suspicions that a Russian ship had delivered munitions to Syria despite an EU arms embargo.

Russia was acting in full respect of international law and wouldn’t be guided by unilateral sanctions imposed by other nations, he said.

The Yak-130 is the sexy little training jet design that Italian defense giant Alenia markets around the world as the M-346, Alenia is even pitching the plane under the name, T-100, for the U.S. Air Force’s eventual T-X trainer contest. The version Russia is selling Syria can be loaded with plenty of weapons on its seven wing hardpoints.

Here are the details from Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, which notes that the sale could be nullified if Assad is overthrown, as was the case with Russian contracts to Gadhafi’s Libya. Just use Google translate when you open the article.



  • tony

    Will Syria have the capability to use these in time for the current conflict? Unless Syria already knows how to operate them, don’t then need to work out logistics, maintenance, training, etc. etc.?

    I know nothing about these issues, so hopefully someone with a little expertise can talk about it. Maybe Russia figured they could cash in and Assad wouldn’t survive to see them used.

    • Black Owl

      Two words: Russian Mercenaries.

    • Bill

      I thought the same thing upon reading this - The Yak-130, although probably a nice, competent fighter jet, does not compare to the military might of nations that potentially would like to “stabilize” Syria.

      So from Russia’s perspective, they are making a quick buck, without much international repercussion, for essentially what is the sale of a burning heap of metal.

      …And if the weapons are used on more of Syria’s own people, it gives even more leverage for the international community to intervene.

  • blight

    Private contractors will probably do the flying, while they are doing the “training” for Syrian fliers.

    Alternatively, the Syrians have had pilots overseas training on these for some time now; and that this deal has just entered the limelight.…

    I guess the sale has been trickling along from 2008. Always possible they sent fliers over for training two years ago in anticipation?

  • Darrell

    The people of America would like to thank Russia for providing our Airforce with state of the art targets. The practice and training will provide out airmen the much needed R&R and entertainment they so truely deserve. I see dead turkeys.

    • Ezra Shabot

      Hahaha! Even with your enormous defense budget, America can not invade Iran, or Syria, without risk of massive losses (anyway the US are afraid to go at it solo, they always call on their lapdog Britain, and NATO). Remember Georgia, you guys were scared out of your minds to go against a weakened Russia. War has changed my dear ignorant trailer-park lord.

    • tiger

      Your dreaming……

  • Black Owl

    Those dirty Russian bastards…

  • Gogi

    This platform is useless against Israel or NATO (certainly not a deterrent to any NATO action). It’s for internal suppression purposes only. And yes, existing Syrian pilots could probably fly them right away, and Russian fighter pilots have flown Syrian jets in prior wars, why not now?_I wish Russia applied the same logic and standards to Israel and other weapons exported who want to sell weapons to Georgia and run into vociferous Russian objections.

  • blight


    The UNSC veto is pretty much the “danger close”. Russia can’t do much else for Syria, except to export equipment and hope nothing incriminating is sitting in a file in the Syrian Mukhbarat.

  • jamesb

    Delivery Date?

    Who will in power to receive them?

    Cash in advance?

  • jamesb

    Who will BE in power…..

    • Chuck


  • Lance

    Cute little trainer will they be used against the Islamist who knows. A Su-25 would be better. However the old and worn out L-29s and MiG-21UMs in service might need to be supplemented so Yes this plane can attack ground targets BUT also need to replace old Soviet era trainers that are too old to be safely flying.

  • Mark

    In capitalist Russia…. oh wait…

    • Chimp

      … television watches YOU!

  • Will

    Russia ain’t us. To kill “more than 5,000 of its own people” was an unfortunate necessity. Syria’s money’s still good & that’s what matters.

    • crackedlenses

      Necessity? How about stepping down because you’re corrupt and have overstayed your welcome?…..

  • jhm

    Russian thought: only 5,000??? pshhh

  • Musson

    Are they configured for Crowd Control?

    • blight

      All you need are cluster bombs, rockets and gunpods for crowd control. Is that an AAM on the stock photo?

  • JRL

    The US is gonna look pretty silly playing the moral high ground card after the recent $80B+ arms deal with the gang of repressive tyrants and theocrats who run Saudi Arabia.

    The bin Sauds may not have killed as many protesters as Assad, but that’s only because their secret and religious police have them more thoroughly cowed.

  • RCDC

    It does look like the T-100

  • StrumPanzer

    I don’t see the big deal. We’ve done many shady things in the past our selves the only difference is this one is in the lime light. Besides with the way things are going the Syrian government could collapse an Russia will be able to keep both the money and the planes.

  • J.P. Hunter

    Britain has been supplying Hawk trainer/ground attack aircraft to suspect regimes for years without causing angst in Whitehall.

  • Miloshmkd

    There isn’t good or bad country…Each government cares for their country or for them self.US,Russia,China,France,Germany and the rest countries in the world are doing what’s good for them,they don’t really care for the “democracy” in Iraq,Syria and etc…There are only eternal interests.

  • hamsho

    Syria already has modern jet fighters like Mig 29 to confront Nato attacks.These new planes to Syria will help attack the armed radical terrorists. However, Syria’s response to any possible hurried Western attack will be a strategic missile attack against Israel, the West nations’ best pet state! All national Syrians would like to see the day when there is no longer Israel on the Middle East map!.