The Czech aircraft manufacturer AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE and the Slovak state company Letecké opravovne Trenčín (LOTN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which specifies the details of future industrial cooperation between the two companies. In case of acquisition of the L-39NG aircraft by the Slovak army, the cooperation would include not only the production of parts for the new L-39NG aircraft, but also cooperation in the logistic support for these aircraft in Slovakia or in providing a Ground Based Training System.
Aero Vodochody is offering to Slovak Air Force a strategic cooperation, part of which is military pilots training and delivery of new L-39NG aircraft. Extensive involvement of the Slovak aviation industry is one of the key advantages of this offer. “The state-owned company LOTN is a traditional partner of Aero Vodochody. Our new L-39NG aircraft, which was certified last year, opens up a wide range of opportunities to extend this cooperation. We offer relocation of production of some parts of the aircraft to Slovakia, specifically the tail part, nose, air brakes, and external fuel tanks. This would make LOTN one of the most important suppliers for the L-39NG. The signed memorandum also specifies other areas, such as providing services related to the L-39NG operation and involvement in other development projects of Aero,” said Jakub Hoda, Vice President for Sales & Business Development of Aero Vodochody.
“LOTN is open to further industrial cooperation with Aero Vodochody. If the Slovak Ministry of Defence acquires the Czech L-39NG aircraft, we have signed a joint memorandum, which contains specific areas for expanding our cooperation. This would bring LOTN new contracts and jobs as well as interesting projects in terms of implementing new technologies in aviation,” said Ľubomír Galko, CEO and Chairman of the Board of LOTN.
The condition of the planned expansion of cooperation between Aero and LOTN is the acquisition of the L-39NG aircraft by the Slovak Air Force. Aero Vodochody offers to Slovakia a strategic and cost-effective solution for training of F-16 fighter pilots, part of which is the acquisition of 10 L-39NG jet aircraft in light attack variant and with an integrated virtual training system (VTS), which brings new features and significant cost savings when practicing tactical situations. The VTS system from Israeli company IAI is a state of the art solution for modern pilot training. In combination with a suitable digital cockpit layout, the L-39NG is an ideal training platform to prepare pilots for the F-16 fighter aircraft.
Even after the certification of the L-39NG aircraft, there is potential of new cooperation in terms of further development projects like improvement of avionics, extension of weapon systems, or implementation of new simulation technologies and virtual reality. “Interesting opportunities for cooperation are already emerging in the field of R&D. I see the potential for involvement of Slovak companies from aviation industry as very realistic and beneficial in terms of development of hi-tech industry in the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” added Vice President of Aero Jakub Hoda. The L-39NG aircraft has an open architecture and it is possible to further develop it throughout its whole life-cycle, which, based on fatigue tests, is up to 15,000 flight hours for up to 40 years of operation.
The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective light jet capable to serve in a role of light attack and/or unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 with optimized features to reduce resistance and increase efficiency and utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs. The aircraft’s avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer’s requirements. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centres with the goal to increase training efficiency. Strategic partner of the L-39NG project is the Czech company OMNIPOL by having 50% of share and financial contribution in the project.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and with history since 1919 one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world’s air forces and it has a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.
With a track record of 11,000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of dozens of military operators and demo teams, a huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, Aero is maintaining its positioning as a leader in the jet training market. In the field of civil aviation, Aero collaborates with many of the world’s largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects. More recently, Aero became a full partner in several risk-sharing programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.