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The Uzbek Air Force has taken delivery of the final six L-39 ALBATROS aircraft, which have undergone general overhaul with Aero Vodochody. The contract for this, which also covers the partial modernisation of their onboard equipment, was signed in September 2018, with the work undertaken with the assistance of long-term strategic partner of Aero, the OMNIPOL company. In 2019, all six machines arrived at Vodochody in the Czech Republic under strict secrecy.

As part of the partial modernisation, the original Russian radio station together with the on-board telephone was replaced by a Czech-made radio station on all six aircraft while the radio navigation system was replaced by a system made by Garmin company. 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 has produced 2,900 L-39 ALBATROS aircraft, hundreds of which are still flying around the world. L-39s, which Uzbekistan gained after the collapse of the Soviet Union, are historically the most successful training jets. However, many countries also use them for other missions such as reconnaissance 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, it registered maintenance, repair and modernisation orders for L-39C and L-39ZA from four foreign customers in Africa and Central Asia alongside a maintenance order for 16 L-159s operated by the Czech Air Force. In December, Aero handed over three L-39ZAs to the Nigerian Air Force after repairs and life extensions. Another three Nigerian aircraft are undergoing general overhaul with Aero.

Jack Richardson