For the past five years one of the world’s oldest aircraft manufacturers, Aero Vodochody, has been developing a next generation jet trainer. Engineers say that one of its key selling points is its ability to train pilots from beginning to end, a new concept in how pilots are taught. To find out more, I visited the two sites where the ongoing tests are underway.
As of September, Czech Gripen fighters will monitor and patrol the airspace
over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of a NATO mission.
The Czech Army confirmed on Friday it would jointly patrol the Baltic States’ airspace along with alliance members Belgium and Denmark.
As in the years 2009 and 2012, Czech pilots will protect the airspace of the Baltic States, which do not own supersonic fighters of their own. Most recently, Czech Gripens were deployed over Iceland.
Altogether there are four NATO Multinational Battlegroups of the Enhanced Forward Presences (eFP) in the Baltic States and neighbouring Poland, established to deter Russia from further aggression following its annexation of Crimea and incursions into eastern Ukraine.
The Czech military aircraft producer Aero Vodochody is marking the company’s 100th birthday with an exhibition documenting the development of its aircraft over the years. Titled “A century with Aero”, the exhibition showcases veterans – from its very first Aero A-1 which took to the skies in 1919 to its latest L-39 NG model launched in December of last year.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in Davos this week talking to international leaders. On Thursday he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Apple CEO Tim Cook. According the Mr. Babiš there is much potential for Czech companies in what is currently the country’s second largest trading partner in South America.
PM Andrej Babiš (ANO), in the midst of a trip to Asia to promote greater
economic cooperation, began a two-day visit to Thailand on Wednesday with
talks with the country’s foreign minister, Pravit Vongsuvan.
He said Thailand will buy 12 Czech military training aircraft of the L-39NG make and the Czech arms industry is looking to make other deals.
Accompanying Mr. Babiš on his Asian trip, which began in Singapore and ends in India, is a delegation of nearly 40 Czech entrepreneurs and Minister of Economic Affairs Marta Nováková (independent).
The Czech aircraft manufacturer and subcontractor Aero Vodochody and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a member of the Lockheed Martin Group, have extended their contract on Black Hawk helicopters, the Czech media, including Novinky.cz, reports. The company has been producing cockpits for Black Hawk helicopters since 2011. The contract has now been extended to 2023.
The aviation industry is one where the Czech Republic boasts a proud tradition but a reduced and sometimes problematic recent past. Now it appears to be on the rebound and the government has high hopes that the country’s biggest aviation company, Aero Vodochody, and one of its key aircraft could be at the centre of the revival.
Czech made L-159 sub-sonic aircraft have been used in Iraq for the first time against Islamic State, according to the Iraqi Army. The Czech government cleared the sale of 15 excess to requirement aircraft being held by the company Aero Vodochody. The Iraqi Army said the Czech aircraft are now being used on the outskirts of Mosul, which the army and Kurdish forces are currently attempting to win back from IS. Czech training and aircraft advisors have been in Iraq since June to help train Iraqi’s to use the planes.