Aero Vodochody handed over to the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav the first of 16 single-seat L-159 ALCA aircraft, which are undergoing periodic work after sixteen years of operation (PP16), the operation of those light combat aircraft will be extended by another eight years on the basis of a contract with the Czech army.
A contract for repairs of single-seat L-159 aircraft for a total of 1.6 billion crowns (EUR 60 million) was signed in 2019 at the IDET trade fair in Brno. “ We are now delivering the first finished aircraft, we currently have another 8 aircraft in different stages of work-in-process and another L-159 should arrive in Aero to be overhauled at the end of this year. Deliveries of aircraft will run at regular intervals until the end of 2022 so as to ensure the operability of the L-159 fleet and the defence capability of the Czech Republic,“ said Jan Štechr, vice president of Aero Vodochody for MRO business.
In addition to the prescribed work, Aero Vodochody also provides number of upgrades to the L-159 aircraft. One of them is adjustment for use of NVG (night vision goggles): adaptation of the cockpit and installation of internal and external airplane lighting (positional, anti-collision and formation lights). Aero cooperates with the Czech army to make the whole L-159 fleet NVG compatible in a near future.
Another upgrade is installation of ESIS – Electronic Standby Instrument System, able to substitute several standby instruments and provide the pilot with attitude, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed and heading data in the event of a panel failure.
L-159 in service of Czech Air Force
Czech Air Force is currently operating 16 single seat L-159 aircraft, 5 double-seat L-159T1 and 3 double-seat L-159T2 for advance training.
L-159 aircraft mates Aero’s long-term experience in development and production of military jet aircraft, in the category of which Aero represents historically the largest producer in the world, with latest advances in avionics, engine and aircraft systems technology. The L-159 is a light multi-role combat aircraft designed for a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is equipped with a state-of-the-art multi-mode radar for all-weather, day and night operations and can carry a wide range of NATO standards stores including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs. The two-seat L-159 is a derivate of the single-seat L-159, primarily designed for Advanced and Operational/Lead-In Fighter Training. The L-159 configuration can also be tailored to customer specific requirements and adapted to needs of basic training as well as combat missions including air-to-ground, patrol and reconnaissance missions.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and with history since 1919 one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world’s air forces and it has a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.
With a track record of 11,000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of dozens of military operators and demo teams, a huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, Aero is maintaining its positioning as a leader in the jet training market. In the field of civil aviation, Aero collaborates with many of the world’s largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects. More recently, Aero became a full partner in several risk-sharing programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.