In 2014, Iraqi government signed a new agreement with Aero Vodochody for the supply of twelve L-159 light fighters. A preliminary agreement for 28 two-seater Aero L-159T1 aircrafts was presented in 2012, included 24 newly built aircrafts and four used aircrafts from the Czech Air Force. But this agreement was abandoned in 2013 and new negotiations began. On August 2014 it was announced that Aero would buy back thirteen single-seater L-159As and a few two-seat L-159Ts aircraft from the Czech Ministry of Defense. These would include eleven phased L-159As and four active aircrafts (two L-159As and two A-159Ts). At that time it was planned to deliver only twelve operational aircrafts (ten L-159As and two L-159Ts), while the two aircrafts were to be used as spare parts. On July 30th, Czech Republic Defense Ministry announced that thirty one Iraqi helicopter pilots were being trained. In addition, training of the ground staff was also being prepared to take care of the combat planes in Iraq.
The single-seat L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) version entered service in April 2000 and the two-seat L-159T version, in 2007 in Czech Air Force (19 L-159As in 212th Tactical Squadron and six L-159T1s in 213th Training Squadron). On August 9th, 2015, first three of the future Iraqi aircrafts were probably seen in Aero Vodochody factory : two L-159As (Czech serials “6065” and “6068”), and one L-159T1 (Czech serial “6067”). On September 5th, it was announced that first four L-159s would arrive mid-September, but the delivery was still reported to the end of the year. The two pictures below show the first two L-159s with Iraqi markings seen at Plovdiv Airport. One of them carry serial "5903". According to AeroHisto sources, first L-159s will arrive at Balad airbase today.
Iraqi Air Force L-159 serial "5903" seen at Plovdiv Airport (@ Dimo Vichev)
Those markings look photoshopped, especially the last picture. But maybe they are just some temporary stickers with strange colours and contrast which will be replaced by regular markings and insingia.ReplyDelete
No photoshopped pictures ... the two L-159s arrived at Balad AB with same markings ;)Delete