The Ghanaian media reported that the acquisition has now been reviewed by parliament's Defence and Interior Committee and on 17 December 2021, the Parliament of Ghana approved a €111,4 million performance sales and purchase agreement for the supply of six Aero L-39NG (Next Generation) training and light combat aircraft for the Ghana Air Force. The purchase had been awaiting approval since 2 August 2021.
The aircraft is a single turbofan-engine (Williams FJ44) powered two-seater jet trainer and light attack platform and has an advanced cockpit design that includes full glass cockpit display a sophisticated on board virtual training system and a Helmet Mounted Display.
The L-39NG is a key component of an innovative training concept developed by Aero Vodochody that includes state-of-the-art ground-based training devices, new learning methods and environment and extensive use of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies. It has been designed as a maintenance-friendly aircraft in anticipation of many decades of service. The new aircraft is based on the L-39 Albatros that is still widely used in both the trainer and light attack roles, but has a new lighter airframe, a more powerful and efficient engine, modern avionics, two additional hardpoints on the end of its wings where fuel tanks were located on its predecessor, and an undercarriage that can handle unpaved airstrips.
The increased efficiency of the Williams FJ-44 4M engine, reduction in weight and drag, and new fuel system gives it a maximum range of 1,900 km without external fuel tanks, 800 km farther than the L-39, according to Aero Vodochody. The company says the aircraft will have similar operating costs as a turboprop and announced in March 2021 that life cycle testing showed it has a service life of up to 15,000 flight hours, three-times longer than the L-39.
The L-39NG has also been sold to Senegal, which ordered four aircraft due to be delivered during 2021 and to Vietnam, which ordered twelve aircraft in February 2021 due to be delivered to the Vietnam's People Air Force from 2023 through to 2024. The contracts include aircraft spare parts, equipment for ground-based training, logistics support and specialised airport systems.
Photo by Marcin Lawniczak (via Jetphotos.com)