First Iraqi pilots complete training on Aero Vodochody’s L-159 aircraft

11 February 2016 (Last Updated February 11th, 2016 18:30)

The first group of Iraqi pilots have completed their training on the L-159 aircraft at Vodochody in Prague, Czech Republic.

The first group of Iraqi pilots have completed their training on the L-159 aircraft at Vodochody in Prague, Czech Republic.

The training for four Iraqi pilots has been provided, as part of a contract between the Czech Republic's aviation manufacturer Aero Vodochody Aerospace and the Iraqi Defence Ministry.

Aero Vodochody president Ladislav Šimek said: "For Aero and Czech aviation as a whole, it's another significant milestone that demonstrates the capabilities of the local aviation industry in a highly competitive environment to provide customers with quality comprehensive services ranging from the delivery of aircraft to providing operations support, training, and other related services.

"We are very pleased the Iraqi Air Force has chosen our aircraft during this difficult time, and we are confident that they will be satisfied with them."

"We are very pleased the Iraqi Air Force has chosen our aircraft during this difficult time, and we are confident that they will be satisfied with them."

In 2014, Aero received a contract from the Iraqi Defence Ministry to supply L-159 family of aircraft.

Under the deal, the firm agreed to supply ten single-seat L-159A and two two-seat L-159T1 aircraft. It provided the first aircraft at the end of last year.

The single-seat L-159 is a light and multi-role combat aircraft, which can support a variety of combat operations including direct support for ground forces, attacking targets in tactically deep enemy territory, and patrol and reconnaissance missions.

The firm has designed the two-seat version for advanced training and fulfilling combat missions.

Installed with the American Honeywell F124-GA-100 engine, the aircraft holds capacity to carry up to 2,000kg of guided and unguided missiles mounted on seven pylons.

According to the company, the aircraft's ability was proved multiple times over during dozens of Nato military exercises and the L-159 are used regularly for training Nato forward air controllers.