L-159 Czech-built Combat Aircraft Ready to be Delivered in Iraq

Iraqi Air Force L-159 serial "5903" seen at Plovdiv Airport (@ Dimo Vichev)
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L-159  Czech-built multi-role combat aircraft ready to be delivered in Iraq.

The Czech government in March 2015 has approved a sale of 15 subsonic fighter planes to Iraq, the defense minister said on Monday, following the failure of a previous attempt to offload surplus stock to Baghdad.

The Czech military has a surplus of the L-159 fighters, made by Czech firm Aero Vodochody and used as training or light combat aircraft, and has been looking for a buyer.

Stropnicky said his ministry would receive 750 million crowns ($29.89 million) for the Iraqi sale. Four of the planes are currently being used by the Czech air force, while the remaining 11 are stored by the plane maker.

The Czechs have been trying to sell the planes to Iraq for years. A previous attempt to sell Iraq 28 of the aircraft fell through in 2013 when Baghdad agreed to buy South Korea’s FA-50 planes instead.

The planes would strengthen the air power of the Iraqi government, which is battling Islamic State insurgents, and would also showcase the Czech arms’ producer, which wants to expand its exports.

The contract with Iraq is subject to approval by countries whose firms supplied parts used in the L-159, including the United States and Italy.

The Aero L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) is a Czech-built multi-role combat aircraft. It is in service with the Czech Air Force. It is derived from the Aero L-59 Super Albatros.

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