Lithuania transfers L-39ZA Albatros light attack aircraft to Ukraine

Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania

Lithuania has transferred one of its L-39ZA Albatros light attack and trainer aircraft to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

In a public announcement posted on April 20, 2024, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense shared some images of the disassembled jet aircraft during the transfer process. 

This aircraft in particular was no longer in service with the Lithuanian armed forces, which had been using it in the past for training purposes.

Ukraine has long been a L-39 operator. Before the Russian large scale invasion it operated a fleet of more than 40 aircraft of this type, although some have been lost during the conflict.

Although its design dates back to the 1960s, the L-39 was produced until the 1990s in many iterative versions. Its latest incarnation, called L-39NG, was presented by Czech aircraft maker Aero Vodochody at the 2014 Farnborough Air Show and had its first flight in 2018. 

The version now supplied by Lithuania, the L-39ZA was developed in the 1970s and is capable of carrying a variety of weapons in its outer pylons, in addition to being fitted with an internal cannon.

This move is part of Lithuania’s ongoing military support program to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

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