Aero Vodochody and the Czech Ministry of Defence have signed an agreement to upgrade the avionics of the Czech Air Force L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) fleet. The deal, which is believed to involve an initial 16 aircraft, was signed on June 1 at the International Trade Fair of Defence and Security Technologies (IDET) held at Brno, Czech Republic. Work will commence immediately.
Giuseppe Giordo, the Aero Vodochody president, said at the signing: “We have developed several upgrades of this aircraft now. The Czech Air Force is the most experienced operator of L-159s so we can co-operate in the development and implementation of upgrades as well as other improvements of this aircraft with them.“
Aero is now upgrading three L-159Ts to L-159T+ standard (which the company calls the L-159T2), in co-operation with the Czech Air Force. Aero also works closely with the Czech Army on this programme. It will boast an upgraded mission system, avionics and Grifo radar and is effectively a dual-seater with the same capability as the single-seat L-159A. Prototype L-159T+ serial 6067 is involved in the test and development phase prior to the first aircraft being delivered back to the Czech Air Force.
The L-159 is enjoying something of a renaissance, which saw the first brand-new aircraft for 14 years roll off the production line, in late December last year. It was rolled out to the media on March 31. Alan Warnes
For more on the Aero Vodochody L-159 and its sister ship, the L-39NG, see the August issue of AFM, on sale from June 15.