The transaction was delayed by some two years – some sources indicated that attempted corruption was the reason of the delay – but it's done. It's very obvious that combat aircraft are much more needed in Iraq etc. than they are needed in Central Europe now – so the deal had to occur, after all.
Khaled al-Obaidi, the Iraqi defense minister and Bibi Netanyahu's twin brother :-), has tried the machine.
Fifteen redundant Aero L-159 ALCA (or now al-Ca?) combat aircrafts have been sold to Iraq, for something like $30 million. See an Iraqi TV, NRTTV, lots of YouTube videos on the model.
L-159 was developed by Aero Vodochody [Waterwalks, a village with 463 people LOL] starting from L-59 Albatros, a well-known aircraft from the communist times. But L-159 was already born after the Velvet Revolution, in the early 1990s.
Czechia is a rather important exporter of weapons. It was an anomaly that L-159 has only been used as a light combat aircraft by the Czech Air Force. Now, Iraq is the only other country that will use it in the sharp way. Variations of the airplane are employed for training purposes in Czechia and the U.S. Two aircraft are already there and decorated with Iraqi symbols; 13 additional ones will arrive soon. Let's hope that the aircraft won't boast the symbols of the Islamic State soon.
The Iraqi authorities have already declared their intent to use the additions in the fight against Daesh as soon as possible. The Iraqi pilots have received some training sessions in Czechia. Let's hope that they're enough. Soviet, American, and South Korean products are the only other models in the Iraqi fighter aircraft inventory.
It always carries some "moral dilemma" to sell weapons but at the end, I feel comfortable about deals like that. The technology is going to be used by the "clearly better side" of the conflict. The removal of Saddam could have been a mistake but at the end, I think that good people of the world have to root for the current Iraqi government.
They got some cool products for a reasonable price and it seems that purchases like this one help to create the real national unity and patriotism in Iraq. There is a feeling that I simply don't have when I look at the U.S. "aid" to the country: the feeling that the Iraqi government is truly sovereign and viable and it can try to deal with its problems in ways that are both reasonable as well as invented by the actual Iraqis. We just sold them the aircraft. Note that no Czech is boasting in the Iraqi videos. On the other hand, the U.S. is constantly trying to impose some behavior on others. Such export of ideas and methods just can't work well.
It would be great if we could guarantee that the aircraft won't be shot down by the Islamic State. Sadly, no one can guarantee that. Not even the aircraft with the Russian tourists could have been effectively defended. But they have to try. The Islamic State is annoying but because of the ease with which the official Iraqi government (and similarly non-terrorist groups in Syria) may buy things from foreigners like us, the Iraqi government should be in an advantage that may turn out to be decisive.