Four Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots on Saturday completed their air combat training at LOM Praha’s CLV flight-training center.
State-owned Czech company LOM Praha began training the Nigerian pilots in the first half of 2018 at the CLV Pardubice air training center in the Czech Republic to improve their air-to-air and air-to-ground combat skills.
The Nigerian Air Force is a long-term operator of the L-39 aircraft from Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody.
Aero Vodochody is closely cooperating with Nigeria to ensure the L-39 will reliably fulfill its role in the Air Force in the coming years. The Nigerian Air Force ordered 24 new L-39ZA aircraft in the mid-80s to replace its aging fleet of eight Aero L-29 Delfín jet trainers and 10 P-149D trainers.
The L-39ZA is an armed version reconfigured locally to carry rocket pods and a pair of 250 kg bombs, and equipped with Western avionics. The aircraft arrived in Nigeria in two batches in 1986 and 1987. They’re based in Kano at the 303rd Aviation School, 403 Flying Training School, and their main task is to train pilots and ground attack.
Presently, not all the aircraft are airworthy, but with the cooperation of Aero Vodochody and the Nigerian Air Force, the L-39s are gradually getting back into service.
Nigeria directly performs L-39 life extensions programs at the base in Kano by a team of specialists from Aero supported by local engineers and technicians.