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Aero Vodochody L-159 light attack aircraft

Five South American countries interrested 

Aero Vodochody is in early discussions regarding potential sales with five countries in South America, as the region becomes a promising one for the company’s two flagship light attack/trainer aircraft.

The company recently revealed that Argentina is a promising market for its L-159 light attack aircraft, but it notes that it is also in early stages of discussions with a number of other customers in the region.

In terms of the market, it is a key one because it has a need for training and light attack,” Damiano Cotula, Chief of Strategy at Aero Vodochody told Monch at the LAAD exhibition in Rio. 

The company is offering the L-159 light attack aircraft to the market – the production line for the aircraft was recently reestablished after years of not manufacturing it, in order to fulfil an order for Iraq – as well as the new variant of its legact L-39 trainer, the NG.

This was the company’s first time exhibiting at the show, demonstrating a shift in importance for Aero.

While it is not as strong as other regions in terms of potential requirements, it is nevertheless still important to the company, Deptula says

No formal requests for proposals have been released from any country there yet, but Aero claims it willing to transfer manufacture of the aircraft to another country if it is required and justified, should a suitable requirement come through. Chile is a particularly promising market and buyer of sophisticated technology, the company says.

Furthermore, the Czech ministry of defence is backing export sales of Aero’s aircraft, and the country also has a vested interest in the region. The Czech government has placed a defence attache in Brazil, which is the first regional one for the country, demonstraing the importance of this market. “We have chosen Brazil because it is leading in the region, and is a very important market,” Tomas Kuchta, deputy minister for industrial cooperation and defence industry management for the Czech MoD, added.

In addition to the offerings from Aero, the Czech Republic was at LAAD promoting other products, including personal protection, chemical, biological, radioactive nuclear decontamination systems, and handguns.

Kuchta said that there are no particular political interests from the Czech Republic, meaning it will not prohibit use of any system it sells as export, which could further the appeal of Czech industry.

Two other Czech aircraft companies were also exhibiting at LAAD, including Let that was marketing its L-410 light transport, and Zlin that develops a basic trainer. “We [the Czech Republic] can offer a package of training from zero to hero,” Kuchta said.

Zlin recently sold its trainer to Bolivia, and Peru is also a customer. “In terms of complementing products, our aircraft are perfect,” Deptula added.

Beth Stevenson


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