The Czech aircraft company Aero (Aero Vodochody) has signed a contract with the Hungarian Defence Forces Command for the delivery of 12 new L39NG advanced jet trainers. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2024. Aero currently has contracts for the production of 30 new L39NG aircraft. Hungary has many years of experience with aircraft from Aero, in the Hungarian Air Force flew L-29 jets, then L-39, in 2008-2010 Hungary leased the L-159. The new L-39NG aircraft could also be used in the coming years to train pilots of the Hungarian and Czech air forces. In addition, the L-39NG programme offers great potential for industrial cooperation within Central Europe.
In 2021 Hungarian and Czech ministers visited a production site, where they learned about overhauls and modernization options for L-39 and L-159 aircraft, and Aero Vodochody Airport, where they saw an acrobatic flight demonstration and then static display of the L-39NG, a new training jet developed and manufactured in Aero. Aero confirmed the contract on April 21 after Hungary’s government commissioner Gáspár Maróth first revealed the order on April 20. Maróth said eight of the aircraft would be used for pilot training, while the other airframes would serve as reconnaissance aircraft.
The Aero L-39NG (“Next Generation”) is a Czech turbofan-powered military trainer and light combat aircraft currently under development by Aero Vodochody. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the Cold War era Aero L-39 Albatros, but is manufactured using new technologies and contains modern systems. The aircraft is being developed in two versions (stages). In 2018, there were several major milestones in the project of the new L-39NG aircraft. At the beginning of the year, Aero launched the assembly line for the first four aircraft; the final assembly of the first L-39NG began in the summer 2018.
While the L-39NG Stage 1 is an upgrade of original L-39 airframes with a new engine and avionics, the Stage 2 are newly built aircraft with several design improvements such as a wet wing without the type’s distinctive wingtip fuel tanks. Serial production should have begun in 2019. The L-39NG design reflects valuable input from Aero customers and is in accordance withthe current and future needs of air forces around the world. Designed primarily as a basic and advanced jet trainer,the L-39NG can also perform a variety of other missions including light combat, close air support, counterinsurgency and reconnaissance.