April 7, 2014 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Xinhua; published April 8, 2014)
Iraq to Buy 12 Mothballed L-159s from Czech Military
Representatives from Iraqi Defense Ministry have signed a purchase contract with Aero Vodochody on buying 12 mothballed L-159 combat planes from the Czech military on Sunday.
Penta Investments that owns Aero Vodochody confirmed the news on Monday.
The mothballed L-159s should be delivered to Iraq by September 2014 at a cost of 200 million U.S. dollars, said Martin Danko, spokesman for Penta Investments.
Former Czech chief-of-staff Jiri Sedivy said that Iraq needs combat aircraft for the training of pilots who would later fly U.S. F-16 fighter jets.
Iraq showed interest in the new Czech combat aircraft for the first time in 2012, when it signed a preliminary agreement with the then Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra on buying 28 L-159s.
The Czech Defense Ministry's spokesman Jan Pejsek said that the Ministry has not yet officially received information on the signing of the contract between Aero and Iraqi officials.
Czech military bought 72 L-159s with only one third of them in use. The military has been trying to sell the redundant L-159s for several years.