The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received three upgraded L-39ZA light ground-attack aircraft and is expected to get three more soon.
“NAF Counter-terror operation: Aero Vodochody recently returned three L-39ZAs back into the air that are now doing a great job against Boko Haram. The company will return three more L-39ZAs and upgrade the old analogue cockpit with a new GenesyS system,” Military Africa tweeted on May 13.
Czechoslovakia-based Aero Verochody designed the L-39 jet in the 1960s. In 1977, significantly upgraded L-39ZO-variant for armed training and light attack, the L-39ZA, made its maiden flight. It has four underwing hardpoints for ground attack stores and an underfuselage gun pod. The jet employs sturdy landing gear and a payload of total 1,290 kg. There is provision for a GSh-23L 23-millimeter twin-barreled cannon attached in a conformal pod under the pilots' compartment, having a 150-round magazine within the airframe. Outer pylons wired to carry K-13 or R-60 air-to-air missiles.