Iraq has agreed to acquire 28 Aero Vodochody L-159 advanced trainer/light attack aircraft from the Czech Republic, the two countries announced on October 15.
Czech Air Force
On May 1 the JAS 39C/D Gripens of the Czech air force’s 211.tl took over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing detachment, which provides a two-aircraft, 24-hour, 15-minute readiness armed quick reaction alert (QRA) for the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The four-month deployment of four Gripens to Siauliai air base in Lithuania represents the type’s first out-of-country operational tasking.
Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody, founded in 1919, probably lays a fair claim to being the oldest airframer still active today. The company’s days may be numbered, however, if it doesn’t start turning a profit next year.
The Czech government has pledged $13.5 million over three years to a consortium of 16 companies to build and market a nine- to 14-seat twin turboprop dubbed the EV-55. Organized by the Czech Aviation Manufacturers’ Association and led by Kunovice-based Evektor, the program would awaken a virtually inactive Czech civil aerospace industry and help regain some of the status it enjoyed during the peak of Let 410 and Zlin glider production.
Aero Vodochody is showing key elements of its L-159B Advanced Training System making their international debut here at the Farnborough air show (Hall 3 Stand D17).