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Uzbekistan receives final upgraded L-39 Albatros from Aero Vodochody

Uzbek Air Force L-39 Albatros
Photo: Aero Vodochody

The Uzbek Air Force has received the last of the six upgraded L-39 Albatros aircraft from Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody.

The final airframe was delivered earlier this month after undergoing a general overhaul that included a partial modernization of its on-board equipment.

The contract with Uzbekistan for the overhaul of six L-39C aircraft was signed in September 2018 with the assistance of long-term strategic partner of Aero, the OMNIPOL company. In 2019, all six machines arrived to Aero premises at Vodochody, Czech Republic.

As part of the partial modernization of six Uzbek Air Force aircraft, the original Russian radio station together with the on-board telephone was replaced by a Czech-made radio station on all six aircraft. The radio navigation system was replaced with a Garmin system. The radio compass was also replaced by more modern technology, and the icing indicator was replaced by a new one made by Rosemount Aerospace.

“Aero is systematically strengthening and developing relationships with current L-39 users. Uzbekistan is the first of a number of customers who have decided to overhaul and modernize their fleet of L-39s at Aero Vodochody which as the original manufacturer is the only one in the world authorized for this type of overhauls,” said Jan Štechr, vice president for military programs at Aero Vodochody.

Aero produced 2,900 Albatros aircraft and Uzbekistan got their L-39Cs after the collapse of the Soviet Union. While they are primarily used as training jets, many countries also use them for other missions, such as reconnaissance missions or border protection.

Aero provides a wide range of support services to users of its L-39, L-59 and L-159 aircraft. In 2020, AERO secured orders for maintenance, repair and modernization of aircraft from four foreign customers from Africa and Central Asia and a maintenance order for 16 L-159 from the Czech Air Force. In December, Aero handed over three L-39ZAs to the Nigerian Air Force after repairs and life extensions, and another three Nigerian aircraft are undergoing general overhaul in Aero.