Ghana’s intention to buy six L-39NG Albatros light attack and trainer aircraft from Czech Aero vodochody has stalled due to funding constraints.
Ghana’s defence minster on 2 August, two years ago sought parliamentary approval for the procurement of six L-39NG aircraft, in a deal that is reportedly worth EUR111 million ($132 million) and which covers associated products and services and a ground-based training system as well as the six aircraft.
The acquisition was reviewed and approved by Ghana’s parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee on 17 December 2021.
Ghana’s plans to buy the L-39NG initially encountered some rocky roads when the Paliamentary Member on Roads and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza, sought to cancel the deal after citing concerns over the viability of buying an aircraft that “no country has placed an order, taken delivery and actually using that jet.”
Me Agbodza also claimed that Vietnam and Senegal, which have made commitments to purchase the same aircraft from the Czech-based manufacturer Aero Vodochody since 2018 are yet to receive their orders hence it is not prudent that Ghana chooses the same manufacturer to purchase from them.
In April 2020, Senegal had ordered four L-39NGs, making it the first military customer for the aircraft, and delivery would be in 2020-21, but so far, Senegal is yet to receive the aircraft.
Senegalese Air Force (Armée de l’Air du Senegal) is supposed to receive four L-39NG jets from Aero Vodochody between 2020 and 2021, but now the delivery date has been postponed to 2022.
According to a 12 June, 2020 report by Military Africa, we explained at the time that Aero Vodochody’s acquisition by new joint venture could dampen Senegal’s L-39 prospect.
Aero Vodochody initially disclosed that financial constraints will delay the delivery of the aircraft to Senegal.
In Ghana, the L-39NG is meant to complement the Air Force small fleet comprising of four Hongdu K-8 jet trainer aircraft acquired from China, as well as five Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano light attack aircraft on order from Brazil.
Ghana’s L-39NG acquisition would likely be cancelled like Senegal’s which has also been cancelled after a number of setbacks.