The Slovak Air Force (SAF) is drawing up its requirements for a new modern trainer as it prepares for the arrival of 14 F-16 Block 70 aircraft. The USD1.6 billion F-16 contract is the biggest in SAF history, with the first jets arriving in Slovakia during the second quarter of 2023.
Under the deal, 22 SAF pilots will begin flying training on F-16 Block 52 aircraft at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona, in 2022. They will be drawn mainly from the small fleet of Aero L-39CM/L-39ZAMs currently used as lead-in fighter trainers at Sliač Air Base. SAF commander Brigadier General Lubomir Svoboda told Jane’s on 2 August, “The L-39s can last for a maximum of six years but we have started pulling together our needs for a next-generation (NG) trainer as well as a budget.