Nigerian L-39s upgraded in Czech Republic return home


Aero Vodochody has concluded maintenance work on three Nigerian Air Force (NAF) L-39ZA jets, which have recently returned home.

After a two-year overhaul, the three aircraft departed the Czech Republic for Nigeria on 17 July, Key Publishing reports.

In 2020, the three L-39ZAs were transported to the Czech Republic for a general overhaul and avionics upgrade at the Aero Vodochody facility in Prague. US company Genesys Aerosystems is upgraded the avionics that includes a Czech-designed Speel head up display (HUD). The work was carried out in conjunction with a small NAF team.

Although the aircraft were expected back in the country before the third quarter of 2021, the process was delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Nigerian Air Force has refurbished a number of L-39ZAs itself. For example, in November 2020, two refurbished aircraft were handed back to the NAF after local work and several more were scheduled for a life extension programme (LEP), which involves in-depth inspection of main and crucial components of the airframe, engine, avionics and escape system of the aircraft.

The NAF has been taking over maintenance and repair work on its L-39ZAs, Alpha Jets, F-7Mi fighters and C-130H Hercules transports.

The NAF flies around nine L-39ZAs, out of two dozen it received in 1986 and 1987.