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Czech Government approves surplus L-159 aircraft sale to Iraq

10 Mar 2015 (Last Updated March 10th, 2015 18:30)

The Czech Republic Government has authorised Aero Vodochody to sell 15 surplus L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (ALCA) to Iraq.

L-159

The Czech Republic Government has authorised Aero Vodochody to sell 15 surplus L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (ALCA) to Iraq.

Czech Republic Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky was quoted by Middle East Online? as saying: "We are looking at a total of 15 warplanes, four of which come from the Czech Air Force, while 11 others come from surplus stock.

"The total cost is CZK750m (€27.5m; $30m)."

Iraq will reportedly receive ten single-seater and two two-seater L-159s, along with a complete aircraft package, including ground equipment, spare parts, training and supply of arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, the remaining three aircraft are scheduled to be dismantled into spare parts.

Aero Vodochody and the Czech Ministry of Defence signed an agreement for the sale of redundant L-159s to the Iraqi Air Force in August 2014.

Iraq will reportedly receive ten single-seater and two two-seater L-159s, along with a complete aircraft package,

Under the terms of agreement, the company will initially purchase the aircraft from the Czech Air Force, and then resell them to Iraq, which is currently engaged in a fight with the Islamic State militants.

The company will outfit the planes with additional equipment and ammunition prior to delivery to Iraq, in addition to ensuring the training of pilots and the ground stuff, as reported by the Czech News Agency.

Despite acquiring 72 L-159s from Aero Vodochody in the 1990s, the Czech Air Force currently uses only one third of them, and has been attempting to sell the redundant planes for several years.

The L159 ALCA is a derivative of the Aero L-39 Albatros, designed to perform close air support, tactical reconnaissance, air defence, counter insurgency, border patrol and lead-in fighter and weapons training missions.

The contract is subject to the Italian, UK, and US Governments, due to use of foreign technology onboard the aircraft, and deliveries are scheduled to take place over the next three years.


Image: A Czech Air Force’s L159 advanced light combat aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Ministerstvo obrany Ceské republiky.