Aerostar S.A – the leading Romanian aerospace company – has announced the completion of an overhaul and upgrade programme for eight MiG-21 fighters for the Mozambique Air Force.
The contract under which this work was carried out was a complex package which also included the overhaul of an L-39 jet trainer and a full training programme for ground staff and pilots.
The programme commenced over a year ago and has involved six single-seat and two double-seat trainer variant. Each overhaul took up to 120 days to accomplish and in effect the aircraft have been re-lifed and rehabilitated. In many instances the aircraft involved had not flown operationally for some 20 years, thought it also means that the airframe has many hours of life left.
Each of the MiG-21s has also been upgraded with the installation of a GPS system and a modern digital flight data recorder.
Six MiG-21s are now back in Mozambique with the final two aircraft shipped from Romania in early July.
In recent years Aerostar has focused its activities increasingly to becoming a commercial aircraft aerostructures manufacturer and civil aircraft MRO business, but it has also stated its firm intention to remain a first rank supplier to the Romanian Ministry of National Defence and also to continue offering its expertise to overseas markets.
With a 60-year legacy of military aircraft, engine and equipment overhaul expertise, including the large MiG-21 Lancer programme several years ago to overhaul and upgrade 110 aircraft for the Romanian Air Force, Aerostar is now able to offer complex solutions to air forces worldwide involving not just deep overhauls, but also varying levels of upgrades and modernization as well as comprehensive training regimes.
Grigore Filip, President and General Director of Aerostar stated today: “The Mozambique programme, which is coming to its conclusion, is proof of our capabilities in this direction. We will feel that our mission has been completely successful when we find out that the Mozambique personnel are operating and carrying out flight training by themselves.
“Furthermore, we believe that this type of upgrade/overhaul/training solution brings advantages to countries with precarious resources and we shall increase our efforts to interest them in our capabilities.”