Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) – The Prague-seated Institute of Military History (VHU) has restored a Sukhoi Su-25 combat plane that Czech and Czechoslovak air forces used in the past, and will put it on display in a hangars of the aviation museum in Prague-Kbely, VHU head Ales Knizek said when showing the plan to reporters on Thursday.
The restoration costs reached 900,000 crowns, he said.
“The legendary combat plane, which gained fame mainly in the conflict in Afghanistan, is a direct counterpart of the U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt, another legendary combat aircraft,” the VHU said.
The two-engine Sukhoi planes were part of the Czechoslovak air force from the mid-1980s, being the only aircraft specialised in attacking ground targets.
Czechoslovakia was their first foreign user. It gradually received 36 of them, which operated at the aviation bases in Pardubice, east Bohemia, and later also in Namest nad Oslavou, south Moravia.
After the split of Czechoslovakia in January 1993, a part of the planes went to the Slovak air force. The Czech air force discarded the remaining ones in 2000 and sold most of them abroad.
Three Su-25s remained in the Czech Republic, serving for museum purposes.
The freshly restored one was delivered to Czechoslovakia in 1987, and it has been part of the VHU collections since 2004.
Martin Hejra, a former pilot who flew the plane for ten years in the past, turned up at its presentation on Thursday.
“The plane is wonderful to fly. It poses no danger, it is safe, since two engines are two engines,” Hejra told CTK, adding that the Czech military did not lose any single Su in an accident.
Hejra said he piloted many types of aircraft during his military career, but Su-25 was his favourite.