01:35 GMT +3 hours01 May 2016
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Iraq Agrees to Buy 28 Czech Combat Jets

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Czech plane maker Aero Vodochody will deliver 28 L-159 advanced trainer/light-attack jets to the Iraqi Air Force after a preliminary agreement was reached on Friday, Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra said.

Czech plane maker Aero Vodochody will deliver 28 L-159 advanced trainer/light-attack jets to the Iraqi Air Force after a preliminary agreement was reached on Friday, Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra said.

“The Czech Republic agreed to deliver 28 L-159 aircraft in a two-seater variant,” Vondra said, adding 24 of the planes will be new. The other four are aircraft which were operated for a short time by the Czech Air Force.

The deal is estimated to be worth around $1 billion. Negotiations will now take place over the final details of the future contract, the Czech government said on Friday.

Talks on the deal have been underway for at least three years.

The L-159 can be armed with Sidewinder missiles, targeting pods and laser-guided air-to-surface weapons.

Baghdad urgently needs advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft, as the Iraqi Air Force is being rebuilt with the help of the United States and is in the process of receiving American Lockheed Martin F-16C fighter jets.

 

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