AERO Vodochody ‏Signs LoI with RSW Aviation for 12 L-39NG Jet Trainers

Czech aircraft manufacturer, Aero Vodochody has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with RSW Aviation, one of the top military training providers in United States, for 12 L-39NG trainer aircraft.

The LoI was signed at the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) 2018. The agreement also includes an upgrade of 6 legacy L-39s into the L-39CW variant.

The L-39NG/CW fleet will be made available by RSW for various customers in its US based training academy allowing training from ab initio stage up to the operational clearance level. The L-39NG is being certified using the European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) and thus brings a true compatibility and interoperability within EU and NATO operators avoiding any additional certification and cross-border processes. The L-39NG fleet LoI includes a set of state of the art simulators and debriefing devices for effective training and learning process.

Giuseppe Giordo, President & CEO of AERO, said: “Today represents a significant milestone for AERO, because through this LoI, we are developing a strategic partnership with RSW. Through this partnership, we will be delivering to RSW 12 L-39NG but also 6 L-39CW, increasing the production backlog of AERO up to 38 new aircraft.”

Giuseppe Giordo commented the cooperation with RSW Aviation as a new era of the jet training, as the RSW unique fleet composition including piston and turboprop aircraft with similar avionics concept allows to the operators to select an ideal mix of flight training with experienced USAF and USMC instructors for gaining maximum knowledge and expertise within reasonable budget.

“We have identified a lot of synergies between the RSW customer oriented approach and the capabilities of L-39NG and are proud that RSW selected the L-39NG as a corner-stone of its lead-in training capability,” added Giuseppe Giordo.

David Patrick, Chief Operating Officer of RSW states that the L-39NG compliments the RSW Shorts Tucano very well, yielding a very compelling pilot training solution to their customers. “The addition of the L-39NG further solidifies our ability to prepare a fighter pilot for a 4th+ generation fighter aircraft with exceptional value.”

According to Jane’s 360, RSW Aviation currently operates the L-39, as well as the Shorts Tucano, Cessna 172, Bell 206, and Beechcraft King Air for pilot training and aircraft maintenance training. The company is headquartered in Arizona and has a training facility in Roswell, New Mexico.

Aero L-39NG (Next Generation) is a turbofan-powered military trainer aircraft and is a successor of the Cold War era Aero L-39 Albatros. L-39CW is a technology demonstrator, developed for the L-39NG program, based on the older L-39C airframe but re-engined with a Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan.

In April this year, Senegal announced the purchase four L-39NG trainer and light attack aircraft during the celebration of its national Independence Day. Aircraft deliveries for Senegal is expected to start in early 2020 and gets concluded by February 2021.

In January, Aero has started the L-39NG aircraft pre-series production line. Aero is currently producing a total of four aircraft. The first and the fourth aircraft will be used for flight tests, the second one for static tests and the third for fatigue tests. The first flight of the new pre-series aircraft is planned to happen in the end of 2018.

The company is currently aiming to deliver six L-39NGs in 2020 before increasing the production rate to 12 aircraft in 2021 and then start full scale production at the rate of 20 aircraft per year from 2022.

The L-39NG programme’s current backlog is 38 aircraft – which would ensure a production run from 2020 until 2022. According to Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Aero Vodochody, a further order of 22 aircraft is expected to be confirmed by the end of 2018. Should these orders be confirmed, the backlog is expected to swell to 60 aircraft.

Aero Vodochody L-39NG

The Aero L-39NG trainer aircraft is being developed in two versions (stages). While the L-39NG Stage 1 is an upgrade of the original L-39 airframe with a new engine and avionics, the Stage 2 is a newly-built aircraft with several design improvements.

The Stage 2 L-39NG will be equipped with Genesys Aerosystems avionics suite and glass cockpit. This version will have brand new “wet” wing with internal fuel tanks compared to the L-39’s “dry” wing with its iconic wingtip fuel tanks.

The L-39NG aircraft will be powered by a single Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan engine. The engine will be supplied with Williams International’s TAP (Total Assurance Program) Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs.

The aircraft’s avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer’s requirements.

The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centers with the goal to increase training efficiency.

Financial partner in the L-39NG project is Czech company Omnipol.

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