Bulgarian Air Force L-39s to be modernised and overhauled

The Czech company Aero Vodochody has secured a contract for the overhaul and modernisation of the L-39ZA Albatros training and light attack aircraft from the Bulgarski Voenno Vzdushni Sili (BVVS, Bulgarian Air Force).

The original Russian avionics will be replaced by Western ones,  so the navigation, communication, identification and recording equipment will be modernised. Also the engines and the Safir auxiliary launch unit will be overhauled.

The now secured contract concerns the first two L-39s that are expected to arrive in Czechia at the end of January 2023. Completion of the overhaul and modernisation is expected in 2024 and afterwards the aircraft will fly back to Bulgaria. It is reported that the upgraded L-39s can fly 7,5 years or 1,500 flight hours.

Vice President Filip Kulštrunk of Aero Vodochody said “I am delighted with the successful completion of the tender and the opportunity to support another of the users of our legendary L-39 Albatros aircraft. We are systematically working to strengthen and develop relationships with the current users of our aircraft. Thus, Bulgaria joins the ranks of customers who have opted for overhaul and partial modernisation of their aircraft”.

At this moment the Bulgarian Air Force operates six L-39s which belong to UAGr. Utchebna Avio Eskadrilla L-39 and are based at 12 Air Base, Dolna Mitropolia.

Picture by Rene Sleegers

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