This aircraft is capable of basic training, aerobatics, tactical and night flying. It was originally developed as a replacement for the UTVA 75 basic trainer, used by the Yugoslavian Air Force. The Lasta was ordered by Serbia (15) and Iraq (20).
The first prototype was completed and made it's maiden flight in 1985. Substantial changes were made to the prototype and in 1989 a modified version - the Lasta 2, was completed. It is a lighter aircraft, with shorter fuselage and a new electronic systems.
By early 1990s 5 pre-production aircraft were under construction, however with the brake-up of the Yugoslavia production and further development plans were abandoned. During the 1999 NATO attacks on Yugoslavia, all 5 aircraft were destroyed during the bombing of the factory. One damaged aircraft was given to the Yugoslav Aeronautical Museum.
In 2006 development of the Lasta was restarted. The new version was known as the Lasta M95. In 2009 it was announced that Iraq will purchase 20 of these trainer aircraft. The Iraqi Air Force demanded armament attachments for free fall bombs and machine guns. The Lasta M95 has two attachments under the wings, capable of caring 120 kg. First trainers were delivered to Iraq in 2010.
Serbia ordered 15 of these aircraft. The Serbian version has advanced electronics. It's cockpit is fully digitized so it can be compatible with the new multi-role fighter, which will replace the ageing fleet of MiG-21.