Aero signs contract for overhaul and modernization of L-39 Albatros aircraft of the Bulgarian Air Force

Vodochody, 18 December 2023 – Aero has signed a contract for the overhaul of L-39 Albatros aircraft with the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. The contract also includes a partial upgrade of the aircraft. The contract is based on a framework agreement that was concluded in November 2022 and is valid for four years.

“I am pleased to continue the successful cooperation with the Bulgarian Air Force. We are working systematically to strengthen and develop our relations with the current users of our aircraft. Bulgaria joins the list of customers with whom Aero has long-standing relationships. We are now following up with a second contract for the repair of Bulgarian L-39ZA aircraft,” says Filip Kulštrunk, Aero Vice President for Commercial.

Under the contract, Aero will overhaul two L-39ZA aircraft, including two engines. LOM Praha, a strategic partner, will also work on the contract and will overhaul the AI-25TL engines. Aero will begin extensive overhaul and partial modernization work in January 2024, when the aircraft will be delivered to the Vodochody factory. It is planned that the aircraft will fly back to Bulgaria on their own. Other Czech suppliers cooperating with Aero will also participate in the order. The order is based on a framework contract that Aero concluded with the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence in January this year.The first two aircraft to be overhauled and upgraded were delivered to Aero in January 2023, followed by two more L-39ZAs.

The contract also includes a partial modernization, mainly replacing the original Russian avionics with Western ones to upgrade navigation, communications, identification, and recording equipment. The overhaul itself will restore the aircraft’s service life to 7.5 years or 1,500 flight hours.

Aero has produced some 2,900 L-39 Albatros aircraft, hundreds of which are still flying around the world. The Albatros are historically the most successful jet trainer aircraft. But many countries also use them for other missions, such as reconnaissance missions or border protection. The L39 Albatros is expected to be replaced in the future by the new L-39NG platform, which combines modern avionics systems, an extremely efficient jet engine, and excellent flight characteristics. The L-39NG platform allows for both Western and Eastern configurations and meets the requirements for full-fledged, modern, comprehensive, and cost-effective Air Force military training. In addition to pilot training, it is also suitable for light combat and reconnaissance missions.

Radka Černá, PR & Communications Manager
e-mail: radka.cerna@aero
Facebook: @aerovodochody
X (Twitter): @AERO_Vodochody
LinkedIn: @Aero-vodochody-aerospace-a.s.