The Iraqi government intends to buy Czech-made Aero Vodochody L-159 advanced trainer/light-attack jets, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday in Prague after talks with his Czech counterpart Petr Necas, local TV reported.
“Further talks about purchasing the L-159 will take place on Friday between the Iraqi and Czech defense ministries,” he said. Talks about an L-159 purchase between Baghdad and Prague have been underway for at least three years, acording to Defense Industry Daily.
The Czech government hopes to sell Iraq up to 24 of the jets, which Defense Industry Daily says are used aircraft which were operated for a short time by the Czech Air Force. Iraq used to operate the jet’s predecessor, the L-39 Albatros.
The L-159 can be armed with Sidewinder missiles, targeting pods and laser-guided air-to-surface weapons, and can operate from austere airstrips, the daily says.