A third batch of Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) L-159 pilots graduated yesterday, October 12, at Prague-based Aero Vodochody. The aircrew have been training on the second L-159T1 (IQAF 5902) which will be delivered to Iraq early next year, along with the first dual-seater.
Pilots, ground staff and instructors have all converted to the type, as part of a contract between Aero Vodochody and the Iraqi defence ministry signed in 2014. The flight training included basic conversion training, weapons training and emergency procedures, in addition to simulation work.
The deal also covered the delivery of ten single-seat L-159As – which have carried out hundreds of combat sorties against so-called Islamic State in Iraq – in addition to the two dual-seat L-159T1s yet to be delivered. Alan Warnes
For more on IQAF L-159 operations look out for the December issue of AirForces Monthly on sale in mid-November.