Aero L-159 Alca

The Aero L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) is a Czech-built multi-role combat aircraft. It is in service with the Czech Air Force. It is derived from the Aero L-59 Super Albatros.


Aero L-159 Alca
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Aero Vodochody
Production Period 1997 - 2003
Origin Czechoslovakia
Country Name Origin Year
Czechoslovakia 1997
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Czechoslovakia 2000 View
Iraq View
United States of America View
Czech Republic View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Aero Vodochody 1997 2003 72 View

Development of the L-159 began in 1992 using Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator. The Czech Air Force ordered 72 of the aircraft in April 1995.

The maiden flight of the L-159 occurred on 4 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998 the single-seat version first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. April 2000 marked the first delivery of an L-159 to the Czech Air Force.

In 2009, Aero Vodochody selected V-Dot Systems (split off from Boeing) as the L-159 avionics integrator. V-Dot will replace the Honeywell multi-function displays (MFD) and upgrade the mission processors to support new functions.

Variants

L-159A

The L-159A is a single-seat 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 multi-mode Doppler Grifo-L radar (a variant of the Grifo-F x-band multi-mode, pulse-doppler radar),[3] for all-weather, day and night operations. It can carry a wide range of NATO standard stores including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs. The L-159A is in operational service with the Czech Air Force and in production. Avionic upgrades are designed and developed by V-Dot Systems Inc.

There are two different configurations being used by the CzAF:

1. Using the Honeywell MFDs.

2. Using the Vdot MFDs.

L-159B

The L-159B is a two-seat derivative of the L159A primarily designed for Advanced and Operational/Lead-In Fighter Training. The L-159B 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.

Note: only one prototype made by Aero Vodochody.

L-159T1

The L-159T1 is a two-seat trainer derivative used by the Czech air Force. All L-159T1s are modified L-159A airframes taken from storage. First flight 8 March 2007.

L-159T2

The L-159T2 is a two-seat trainer derivative based on the designs of the L-159T1 and L-159A. Instead of mirroring the instruments to the rear seat like the L-159T1, the new two-seater will have independent instruments. The avionic systems will be interchangeable with the L-159A and use the same software configurations. Aero Vodochody will be using parts from the L-159B to build the L-159T2 prototype. Avionic upgrades are designed and developed by V-Dot Systems Inc.


The Czech Air Force is the primary operator, receiving the latest avionics upgrades.

Role Military Advanced Light Combat Aircraft
Manufacturer Aero Vodochody
First flight 4 August 1997
Introduction April 2000
Status Operational
Primary user Czech Air Force
Produced 1997–2003
Number built 72
Unit cost US$13 million (2003), US$15–17 million
Developed from Aero L-59 Super Albatros


General characteristics

  • Crew: one (L-159A), two (L-159B, L-159T1)
  • Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)
  • Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)
  • Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)
  • Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A-012
  • Aspect ratio: 4.8:1
  • Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf)

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean
  • Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)
  • Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel
  • Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9 Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks
  • Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

Armament

  • Guns: provision for ZVI Plamen PL-20 2×20 mm gun pod
  • Hardpoints: 7, 3 under each wing and 1 under the fuselage holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb)
  • Missiles: **Air-to-air: AIM-9M Sidewinder, IRIS-T, AIM-132 ASRAAM
  • Air-to-surface: AGM-65 Maverick
  • Bombs: various laser-guided and unguided bombs GBU, CBU

Avionics

  • Grifo-L Radar

End notes