Ghana appears to prefer US bidder's aircraft over L-39NG

Ghana Aero L39NG order contract
Aero Vodochody L-39NG trainer/light attack aircraft

The Ministry of Defense of Ghana has suspended negotiations with Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody for the acquisition of six L-39NG trainer/light attack aircraft, according to African media. That decision was made after senior officers of the Ghana Air Force expressed their preference for a US bidder's aircraft.

The deal with Aero seemed close to being finalized after Ghana's Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul sought parliamentary approval for approximately € 111 million to procure six L-39NGs last summer. The plane would be acquired through a loan agreement. However, it is well known that defense affairs can be reviewed at any time.

Although the L-39NG is an evolution of the successful L-39 Albatros, it appears that it is not achieving the expected sales success. The segment to which the L-39NG belongs is often driven by turboprop aircraft and most likely Ghana's preference is falling towards one of the latter.

We believe the Ghana Air Force is looking at the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano or the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine. Both are platforms marketed by American companies that can fill the training and light attack roles. Ghana is also already a user of the Super Tucano, Accra bought 5 of them in 2015.

The Super Tucano especially is achieving excellent sales in the region with the Nigerian Air Force receiving the latest batch of 6 aircraft (out of 12 ordered) from Sierra Nevada at the end of last year.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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