Czech/Iraq Aircraft Deal "Fails"

By John Lee.

The planned sale of the Czech military L-159 planes to Iraq is reported to have broken down.

Producer Aero Vodochody has allegedly limited the preparation for the production of 24 new planes to the minimum.

The contract, which was announced last year, has not yet been signed, according to the Insider daily, but the report goes on to quote Aero Vodochody head Ladislav Simek as saying "the previously signed contract has not taken effect yet".

Simek added that a new contract might be expected, and it is believed that both sides are attempting to renegotiate.

Alexandr Vondra, who headed the Czech Defence Ministry when the contract was announced, told Insider: "My experience from talks with Arab countries shows one thing: you need patience, patience and patience again. They have a different notion of time than we in Europe."

The Czech Republic and Iraq have been negotiating about the sale of L-159s for several years. The order was to be worth some 19.2 billion crowns ($1 billion).

(Source: Prague Monitor)

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