Ukrainian Air Force awaits donated L-39ZA aircraft
Lithuania is donating its sole remaining L-39ZA Albatross aircraft to Ukraine ‘on a non-reimbursable basis to advance its objectives and functions’, the government of the Baltic republic announced on 10 November.
The aircraft will be delivered ‘within a short while, as soon as practical details are settled with the Ukrainian side’, the Lithuanian government added in an official statement.
The L-39ZA is a lead-in fighter trainer that doubles as a light attack aircraft. The Albatross destined for Ukraine is one of a pair that underwent an avionics and navigation equipment overhaul in Romania in 2007. Both aircraft were retired by 2018, according to Shephard Defence Insight.
Ukraine already operates a fleet of 47 L-39s but Shephard reported in September 2020 that Kiev was thinking of procuring the Super Tucano as a replacement.
Lithuania has offered aid to Ukraine since 2014 in its ongoing conflict against Russia-backed rebel forces. Assistance began as medical care for injured Ukrainian service members but it expanded in 2017 to military training missions.
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