Ghana seeking to acquire six L-39NG jets


Ghana is looking to acquire six L-39NG aircraft from Czechia’s Aero Vodochody, which would be bought through a loan agreement.

Ghana’s defence ministry disclosed the agreement to Parliament on 2 August. The contract is worth €111.3 million ($132 million) and includes spares, training and support.

The proposal was presented via defence minister Dominic Nitiwul and Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, referred the agreement to the Defence and Interior Committee of the House for consideration.

Aero Vodochody spokesperson Tereza Vrublová confirmed that Aero Vodochody is negotiating with the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence for the supply of L-39NG aircraft. “However, we will not comment further on the ongoing business case,” she said.

In Africa, Senegal announced an intention to order four L-39NG (New Generation) jets in 2018. The L-39NG is the latest iteration of the successful L-39 Albatros trainer. The L-39NG programme started in 2014, with four prototypes being produced. It is being offered in Advanced and Basic Trainer and Light Attack configurations. The new L-39NG received its international type certification in September 2020.

The aircraft is powered by a single Williams FJ44-4M engine with FADEC control and has five hardpoints for 1 200 kg of weapons (three more than previously). Due to a more efficient engine and reduced drag, range is increased by 800 km to 1 900 km. Other changes compared to the standard L-39 are wet wings without wingtip tanks, a 15 000 flight hour service life, lighter and stronger airframe and Health and Usage Monitoring System. The L-39NG uses 50% new parts.

L-39NGs have been ordered by several companies, including LOM Praha, which trains the Czech and other air forces, but no aircraft have been delivered to date.

Of late, Ghana has been investing in its military and has budged $86 million for the acquisition of 19 armoured vehicles, including 11 Guarani armoured personnel carriers.