Czech aircraft company Aero Vodochody and the Czech Ministry of Defense will meet with Iraqi government and military representatives in Prague on 23-24th January with a view to landing a deal to supply 20 of its L-159 fighter planes.
The manufacturer, part of the Penta group, has reportedly already received Kč 25.2 million ($1.3 million) just for storing the slightly used planes on behalf of the Ministry.
The ministry can expect to receive a maximum of Kč 30 million ($1.5 million) for each plane, though a barter deal for Iraqi oil is an option being discussed.
Competition for the deal comes from the Hawk light combat and training plane manufactured by BAE Systems of the UK, and the T-50 Golden Eagle, developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin of the US together with Korea Aerospace Industries and Korea’s Agency for Defense Development.
Pavel Bulant, head of the ministry’s armaments department, says there’s a good chance the Czechs will clinch the deal to supply the fledgling Iraqi air force. Aviation specialist and journalist Michal Zdobinský says that in order for the Czech offer to have any chance, the deal would have to have the blessing of the US.
(Source: Czech Position)