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.


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.


Technical data

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
Weapon pylons 7  
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

Source @pamco.cz


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.

maxresdefault (1)L-159_RIAT2007_2853_800


Current operators

 Czech Republic

Future and pending operators

  • Iraqi Air Force – 15 L-159 aircraft will be purchased (10+3 L-159As and 2 L-159T1s).
L159_irakgun-pod-on-a-czech-air-force-aero-l-159-timm-ziegenthalerZVI Plamen PL-20 2×20 mm gun pod
07-l-159-alca---plrs-sidewinder1501956l159b3tp4xp93-2012-4-grifoGrifo Radar

Civilian operators

 United States
  • 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.


Specifications (L-159A)

Aero L-159 Alca scheme.jpg

Data from Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 2003–2004

General characteristics




Grifo-L Radar

Source: Wiki, AINonline, thaitechnics.com

F124-800x800Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf)AIR_L-159A_ALCA_Armament_lgaim-9m-sidewinder-heat-seeking-air-to-air-missileAIM-9 Sidewinder (Rb.74) Anti-Aircraft Missileirist_02.jpg13ba18a8-5a74-43b7-87d8-d3dec62e702aLargerIRIS-T_SchnittIRIST-T Anti-Aircraft Missile off bore sight capability05.jpgab4ee1d6-bc65-41d2-8c69-068f923caef4OriginalAdvanced 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+agm65baf_02.jpgb7561800-3993-43a6-af3c-e25e84b4a3e5LargerAGM-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

Selex Galileo Improves Grifo Radar for New Applications

Strafing runs Pilatus PC-9 and L159

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