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Bangladesh Buys Russian Combat Training Jets Worth $800M

Bangladesh ordered 24 Russian Yak-130 light fighter jets worth $800 million in the final quarter of last year, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday.

The deal was paid for with a loan extended by Moscow to the country a year ago, the director of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in a separate interview published by Kommersant on Monday, without disclosing the deal’s price tag.

The newspaper said Tuesday that the sale was worth $800 million, citing unnamed sources in the defense industry. The planes are to be fitted with English-language cockpits and delivery is scheduled to begin next year.

The Yak-130 is a lightweight subsonic trainer aircraft designed to mimic the cockpit and handling capabilities of Russia’s more advanced fighters. The plane can also be configured to carry a small payload of ground attack and air-to-air weapons.

Russia has targeted South Asia as a growth market for arms exports. The country delivered a refitted aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, to India earlier this month and is in the process of supplying Vietnam with six advanced attack submarines.

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