Hungary orders 12 Aero L-39NG trainer-reconnaissance aircraft

Hungary orders Aero L39NG
Aero L-39NG trainer aircraft.

Hungary has procured 12 modern Aero Vodochody L-39NG trainer aircraft, Gáspár Maróth, the Hungarian government's commissioner for defense development, said Wednesday. The contracts have reportedly already been signed and the first aircraft will be delivered in 2024.

"Pilot training was one of the key elements of the Hungarian government's force development initiative (formerly known as Zrínyi 2026), which began in 2016," Maróth said.

Eight of the new aircraft will serve as trainers, while the other four will be developed in a reconnaissance version being developed as part of a joint Hungarian-Czech research initiative and will be delivered later.

The reconnaissance version will likely be part of the Stage 2 package which will enhance the aircraft with a state-of-the-art flight control system developed by US manufacturer Genesys Aerosystems and a digital fuel management system, as well as an open system architecture, which will allow subsequent individual retrofitting and customization according to customer needs.

Hungary's purchase of the L-39NG is not a big surprise to Blog Before Flight readers as we had already talked about this topic in late 2020. Since then, the nation's interest in the L-39NG has continued to grow with the demonstrator aircraft that has been spotted several times in the Hungarian military bases.

The Aero L-39 is well known to the Hungarian Air Force. The service received 24 L-39ZO jets from the former NVA's inventory in 1993 and, following a modernization program, operated the type until mid-2010.

According to Aero, they have already finalized contracts for the production of 30 L-39NGs. They are also negotiating sales for dozens more aircraft.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Aero Vodochody

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