NATO Days 2019 – 220 thousand visitors and 17 countries

NATO Days 2019 – 220 thousand visitors and 17 countries
Author:|Caption: Extra 300 (Martin Šonka) and JAS-39 Gripen (Ivo Kardoš)
26 / 09 / 2019, 09:00

During the first day of this year's NATO Days , 21st September, two events had a particular success - the premiere performance of the light jet trainer L-39NG from Aero Vodochody, and the demonstraton of the US helicopter AH-1Z Viper, which will be acquired by the Czech Army together with the UH-1Y Venom. Dozens of ground vehicles were presented, including the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank, the Puma or the ASCOD 42 Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

NATO Days is the largest security show in Europe and there were definitely many things to see. About 125,000 people attended during the first day of the event. The main event of the first day was the premiere performance of the modern training aircraft L-39NG, the successor of the legendary "Albatros". New trainer proceeds with its flight tests. NATO Days provided the opportunity to introduce the aircraft to the general public and potential customers. President of Aero Vodochody Dieter John says the L-39NG program is running on schedule.

Bell presented the AH-1Z helicopter, and it was its European premiere. During the press briefing, Bell representatives introduced the capabilities of the AH-1Z Viper and of the UH-1Y Venom helicopters. Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar said that the contract for the supply of 12 of these helicopters (four Vipers and eight Venoms to replace the Mi-24/35) should be signed this year.

See also: 19th NATO Days in Ostrava & 10th Czech Air Force Days

Among other aircraft there were the C-5M Super Galaxy, B-52 Stratofortress, Airbus A 400M, KC-135 Stratotanker, E3A Sentry aircraft with AWACS system, or the Romanian IAR-99 Soim training helicopter and the IAR 330 Puma attack helicopter, both presented in dynamic demonstrations.

The vistors could also see the ScanEagle and the RQ-11 Raven drones, deployed by the Czech Army. The British showed the Watchkeeper WK450 UAV.

NATO Days also presented a wide variety of ground vehicles too, such as the Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle or the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank Leopard, the Romanian Piranha III and many others. GDELS unveiled another version of the ASCOD 2 at NATO Days, ASCOD 42 with manned turret, meant to be a technological demonstrator to show the variability of the platform within the ongoing Czech IFV acquisition tender.

See also: IDET 2019 - International Defence and Security Technologies Fair in Brno

The Czech Republic offered its complete of vehicles, including both the older and new ones, such as the T-72M4 CZ MBT, Pandur II wheeled IFV, DINGO 2 LAV, Land Rover Defender 130 Cayman, or the 120mm and 81mm mortars.

The main attraction of the Sunday’s program were the dynamic demonstrations, most notably the performance of the aerobatic air groups and the joint show of the world champion in the Red Bull Air Race, Martin Šonka, and the Gripen fighter pilot Ivo Kardoš.

During both days of the event, visitors could see vehicles and equipment from 17 countries.

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