Nov 6, 2015
Iraq receives first L-159 jets from the Czech Republic
The Czech Ministry of Defence cleared the sale of 11 surplus and four active-duty L-159s to Iraq earlier in the year. In all, the IqAF is to receive 10 single-seat L-159A Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) light strike platforms, two twin-seat L-159B Albatros II trainers, and three spare parts airframes by the time deliveries are complete in 2017.
Based on the L-39/59, the L-159 has a larger, redesigned nose to accommodate a radar; a longer fuselage; the option for a single-seat armoured cockpit with 297 kg of additional fuel in lieu of the rear seat for the ALCA model; modern controls and avionics; as well as permanent wingtip fuel tanks. The aircraft features seven external stores stations - one under the fuselage and three under each wing - and can carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM, the AGM-65 Maverick ASM, and SUU-20 or CRV-7 unguided rocket pods, up to a maximum payload of 2,700 kg (5,952 lb).