Parliament has approved a €111.4 million performance sales and purchase agreement for the supply of six L-39 Next Generation (L-39NG) aircrafts for the Ghana Air Force (GAF).
The facility would also include the provision of support products, services, and ground based training system associated with the aircraft operation for the armed forces.
The execution of the agreement would help in equipping the GAF with modern requisite logistics and training to enhance their offensive capabilities to position it to defend the territories from any form of aggression.
With the engines manufactured in the United States of America and avionics of the aircraft very similar to the F-15 fighter jet, one of the best fighter jets in the fleet of the US Airforce, the agreement is between the government of Ghana, and Aero VodochodyAirospacea.s. of Czech Republic.
Moving the motion for the House to adopt the Finance Committee’s report and approve the facility last Friday, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Effutu, said the facility would position the GAF to defend the country.
He said as part of due diligence, and the need to equip the GAF, the Defence and Interior Committee members travelled to Prague to “see, inspect, assess and evaluate” the L-39 NG aircrafts.
“Mr Speaker, I have no doubt in my mind that when this report is approved and the financing agreement is executed and the aircrafts are procured, it will go a long way to help the Ghana Airforce for the purposes stated in the report,” he said.
MrAfenyo-Markin underscored the importance of the aircrafts to enhance the operational capacity of the Air Force to meet current military trends.
Supporting the motion, the Ranking Member on the committee and MP for Builsa North, James Agalga, said the aircrafts the Airforce was seeking was an advanced form of what they have flown in the past.
“What we are now seeking to procure, the L-39 NG whose engines were manufactured in the United States of America, is a faster new generation of the earlier aircrafts that the Airforce had flown in times past.”
To him the procurement of the aircrafts have become a necessity to position the Airforce defend the country.
“Mr Speaker, if you consider the fact that the Airforce finds itself in a very difficult situation whereby existing aircrafts like K-8 fighter aircrafts are at the moment being refurbished, that dwindles the offensive capabilities of the Airforce considerably.
“Mr Speaker, in the face of emerging threats of terrorism and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, it is important that we retool the Airforce to improve on its offensive capabilities and this is the justification of the aircrafts in question,” he said.
He urged his colleagues to approve the deal to “allow us give our Airforce the muscle to be able to give us the air offensive power to defend the territorial integrity of this country and to help us ward off the terror threats that we are currently faced with as a country.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI