Three L-39ZA Albatross trainers and light attack aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have returned to the country following a successful airframe overhaul and avionics upgrade in the Czech.
The trio left Nigeria in December 2020, to upgrade the old analogue cockpit with a new Genesys system.
The three L-39NGs returned to Nigeria on 17 July, from the Aero Vodochody Facility in Prague, Czech Republic.
They were expected back in the Country before the third Quarter of 2021 but were delayed due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Six Nigerian Air Force L-39ZA Albatross light attack and trainer aircraft have been upgraded with the new Genesys Aerosystems’ avionics systems in a bid to modernize the fleet and to tackle terrorism.
The contract for the upgrade was awarded to Aero Vodochody in 2019.
The Genesys Avionics system features a synthetic vision Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), low-cost analog wing levelers, digital, three-axis systems with Flight Director and envelope protection, IDU-680 smart displays, ADAHRS (Air Data, Attitude, and Heading Reference System), and GPS receiver.
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 attacks.
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.
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 NAF pilots completed 150 hours of training on the L-39C at LOM Praha flight training centre (CLV) Pardubice in Czech Republic.