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Uruguay considers L-39NG for LIFT, light attack requirement

Aero Vodochody is pitching its L-39NG to Uruguay as a potential replacement for its A-37 fleet. (Aero Vodochody)

Uruguay is considering the Aero Vodochody L-39NG (Next Generation) aircraft for its lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) and light attack requirements, with a delegation from the Czech Republic visiting the South American nation earlier in May.

Aero announced the visit on 24 May, saying that the Czech government is offering a package that includes six aircraft, pilot training, maintenance and support, and the building of a technical and service centre, as well as financing via the Czech Export Bank (CEB).

“In mid-May the offer was presented to Uruguayan partners by the ambassador of the Czech Republic to Argentina, Ľubomír Hladík, the director of the Departmental Agency for Intergovernmental Co-operation (AMOS), Aleš Vytečka, [and] representatives of Aero Vodochody, the CEB, and the Flight Training Centre,” Aero said.

As noted by the company, discussions between the Czech Republic and Uruguay on the potential sale, which could also include unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and/or radars to counter narcotics trafficking, have been ongoing for two years. A bilateral co-operation in the field of defence was signed in January, “which will significantly simplify the participation of Czech companies in local government tenders”, Aero said.

A decision from the Uruguayan government is expected in June.

The Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya: FAU) has a need to replace its six (plus a number in storage) ageing and increasingly unserviceable Cessna A-37B Dragonfly and its now-retired FAdeA IA-58 Pucara light attack aircraft with a new radar-equipped light attack and LIFT platform.

As noted by Janes World Air Forces

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