Government approves sale of redundant L-159 planes
The outgoing Czech interim government on Thursday approved the sale of 28 redundant L-159 combat planes to the US company Draken International, Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek told reporters. The deal is expected to fetch between 435 and 516 million crowns depending on the technical state of the aircraft. 24 of the planes should be operational while the additional four will be used for spare parts. The US firm Draken International will reportedly use the Czech-made planes in training programmes for US military pilots. Several Czech governments have been trying to sell the redundant aircraft ever since it became obvious that the Czech Air Force would only need a third of the 72 planes it acquired in 1997.