Design and development
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.
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), 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.
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.
|Wing span||9,54 m||31 ft 3 in|
|Length||12,72 m||41 ft 8 in|
|Height||4,87 m||16 ft|
|Weight empty||4.350 kg||9,590 lb|
|Max ramp weight||8.000 kg||17,637 lb|
|Max fuel weight||L-159A||L-159B|
|– internal||1.547 kg (3,410 lb)||1.320 kg (2,910 lb)|
|– external||1.620 kg (3,571 lb)|
|Max external stores||2.700 kg||5,952 lb|
|Max level speed at S/L||936 km/h||505 KTAS|
|Powerplant||One 28 kN (6,300 lbst)|
|Honeywell / ITEC F 124-GA-100|
|Military Turbofan Engine|
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.
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.
- Czech Air Force – in service 19 L-159As and 6 L-159T1s (remaining are in cold storage in Aero Vodochody)
Future and pending operators
- Iraqi Air Force – 15 L-159 aircraft will be purchased (10+3 L-159As and 2 L-159T1s).
- Lewis Fighter Fleet LLC – 3 L-159As These aircraft were bought from EADS-CASA in July 2013. In 2009 EADS-CASA of Spain exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. Later the two L-159T1s were returned by EADS-CASA to the Czech Republic as compensation for the C-295M not meeting the counter measures requirements of the CzAF at the time of delivery. This problem has been solved by EADS-CASA three years later and the remaining three L-159As resold by EADS-CASA to Lewis Fighter Fleet LLC.
- Draken International Inc. – 21 L-159Es: a civilian U.S. company that cooperates with the U.S. Army, will buy 21 planes in total.
Data from Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 2003–2004
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
Source: Wiki, AINonline, thaitechnics.com
Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf)AIM-9 Sidewinder (Rb.74) Anti-Aircraft MissileIRIST-T Anti-Aircraft Missile off bore sight capabilityAdvanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile, also known by its United States identifier AIM-132, is an imaging infrared homing (“heat seeking”) air-to-air missile, produced by MBDA range 300 m – 50 km speed Mach 3+AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support range greater than 22 km speed 1,150 km/h
Strafing runs Pilatus PC-9 and L159