Senegal has ordered four L-39NG jets, Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody Aerospace announced on 4 April.
The company said in a statement that the new-build aircraft will be capable of carrying out both light attack and training duties. The contract also covers training for pilots and maintenance crew, spares, ground support equipment, and logistics support services.
The Senegalese Air Force does not currently operate any jet aircraft. Two L-39s were seen during the independence day parade on 4 April, but these were from Latvia’s Baltic Bees display team. Senegal’s only ground attack platforms are Mi-24/35 and Mi-17 helicopters. Embraer announced in 2013 that Senegal would order three of its Super Tucano turboprops, but the deal was never finalised.
The L-39NG is an updated version of the successful L-39 jet trainer that uses modern materials and avionics and is fitted with a new engine. It is being promoted as a cost-effective replacement for the large number of L-39s that are still in service.
The company announced in 2015 that it had lined up three customers for the L-39NG: LOM Praha, a state-owned Czech company that trains the Czech and other air forces; the Draken International display team, and the Breitling display team.
The 4 April Aero Vodochody statement quoted its president, Giuseppe Giordo, as saying, “we also have two additional contracts in a very mature state of negotiation,” but provided no further details.
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