Hungary purchases Aero L-39 next-gen trainer and light combat aircraft
BUDAPEST, ($1=344.47 Hungarian Forints) — Hungarian Government Commissioner Gaspar Marot informed the national media about the purchase from Budapest of L-39NG training aircraft manufactured by the Czech company Aero Vodochody, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing Defence 24.
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These revelations were announced on April 20 this year. Eight of the machines to be purchased will be used to upgrade future Hungarian Gripen pilots, and the rest will be reconnaissance machines. There is no information on the planned value of the purchase, but deliveries of the latest version of Albatros should begin in 2024.
Currently, the training of Hungarian pilots is carried out in the country on Zlin 143 and Zlin 242 piston aircraft and two two-seater Gripen versions D. Previously, the Hungarians used 20 post-GDR L-39NO Albatross, which were finally decommissioned in 2009. – Later Hungarian pilots used Aero L-159 ALCA, hired by the Czechs, for improvement.
The purchase of its own squadron L-39NG [Next Generation] is part of the 10-year program for modernization of the armed forces “Zrinyi 2026”, which started in 2016. The Czech design won the competition for advanced training aircraft with Embraer EMB314 Super Tucano.
The planes will be operated at the base in Szolnok, ie. from where the old Albatross operated two decades ago.
About Aero L-39
Hungary is another export client of the new incarnation of Albatross. In 2021, they were ordered from Ghana [six for 111.4 million euros] and Vietnam . Earlier in 2018, the Czech Republic decided to use six machines and four training and combat versions of Senegal. The L-39NG is also purchased from private training companies. In 2018, 12 machines with the option of six more were ordered by the Portuguese company Skytech, and another 12 + 6 by RSW Aviation.
Aero L-39 are two-seater aircraft. It is powered by a Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan engine, 16.89 kN [3,800 lbf] thrust. The maximum speed that can be reached during the flight is 775 km / h [482 mph, 418 kn] TAS at 6,000 m [20,000 ft]. This aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of 11,500 meters.
When designed for combat missions, the L-39NG can be armed with AA missiles with IR missiles, air-to-ground laser-guided bombs, air-to-air laser-guided missiles, free-falling bombs, 70mm FFAR unguided air-to-ground missiles, and two machine guns: a 12.7mm machine gun for air combat and a 20mm machine gun air-to-ground.
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