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Czech Republic Unveils Revamped L-159 Attack Aircraft After Production Reboot

Sputnik News

20:04 31.03.2017(updated 20:12 31.03.2017)

The Czech Republic's Aero Vodochody aircraft company has unveiled its first upgraded Aero L-159 ALCA light attack jet after an almost 15-year pause in production, local media said Friday.

PRAGUE (Sputnik) Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who attended the plane's demonstration flights, said talks were already underway to supply L-159s to at least three potential customers, including Iraq.

"The L-159 attack aircraft is the only one of its type to be used on several continents and the only one to have been tested in various missions. So it is time to again offer the L-159 and give the plane a new future," company CEO Giuseppe Giordo said, as quoted by the Lidovky news website, while presenting an upgraded L-159 to an audience near Prague.

Aero Vodochody showcased the modernized plane at the LIMA-2017 aerospace exhibition in Malaysia earlier this month. The company said it was seeking clients both in the private sector and among the armed forces.

The aircraft was previously produced between 1997-2003 and is currently in service with the Czech and Iraqi air forces. Hungary's air force previously used the plane for several years. The US aircraft leasing company Draken International also purchased almost two dozen planes.

The L-159 was used in combat against Daesh in Iraq.

There currently is a shortage of light attack aircraft on the global military aviation market, according to experts, which gives the Czech plant a chance to sell up to several hundred planes within the coming years.


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