First Czech Air Force L-159T2 Jet Trainer Performs its First Flight

The first Aero Vodochody L-159T2 two-seat advanced jet trainer for the Czech Air Force made its first flight on August 2, 2018, at Aero Vodochody Airport in Vodochody in the Czech Republic.

Czech Air Force ordered three L-159T2 twin seat aircraft with several upgrades on board in 2016 to fulfill operational missions and advanced jet training. The L-159T2s are supposed to be delivered to the 21. Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav till the end of this year.

The successful first flight of L-159T2 with tail number 6028, piloted by Aero’s test pilots Vladimír Kvarda and David Jahoda, lasted 30 minutes.

“Aero achieved another important milestone. Thanks to this cooperation with our national customer, the L-159 program got additional features. Based on requirements of the Czech Air Force, we will deliver additional twin seaters that are suitable for not only advanced pilot training but are also equipped for military operations,” said President & CEO of Aero Vodochody Giuseppe Giordo.

These new T2 twin seat aircraft have newly built central and forward fuselage, several significant improvements, mostly in equipment of both cockpits and in the fuel system, and are fully NVG (Night Vision Goggles) compatible. Each cockpit is further equipped with two Multi Function Displays (MFD) and upgraded version of an ejection seat VS-20. The aircraft is also adapted to offer a pressure refueling capability. The Grifo radar, commonly used in single seat version, is now integrated also into the dual seat L-159T2 as well as the self protection systems (countermeasures and radar warning receiver – RWR).

The L-159 aircraft is operated by Czech Air Force, Iraqi Air Force and U.S. company Draken International. In the past, L-159s were leased by Hungarian Air Force to train pilots.

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 (LIFT). 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.

At Farnborough Air Show 2018, Aero Vodochody and its strategic partner, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), introduced a multirole aircraft for close air support F/A-259 Striker.

The F/A-259 Striker combines the robustness and effectiveness of its successful predecessor – the L-159 Alca – with the latest advances in avionics and aircraft systems technology. Using benefits of a wet wing, F/A-259 Striker provides superior performance, great maneuverability, and a high range.

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