The Czech Air Force took over from domestic manufacturer Aero Vodochody Aerospace a.s. the last of five L-159T1 two-seat aircraft after PP2000 maintenance. Now, the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav has a total of eight two-seat advanced training and light combat L-159 aircraft: five L-159T1+ and three L-159T2 aircraft delivered in the spring of this year.
“We use the two-seat version of L-159 ALCA for advanced and combat training of young pilots. Eight L-159 ALCA two-seaters allow us to fly a sufficient number of flight hours, provide quality and efficient training, and reduce the time required for training young pilots and their transition to operational squadrons,” said Colonel Petr Tománek, Commander of the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav.
The L-159 aircraft must undergo regular maintenance check after 2,000 flight hours or each 8 years after the last periodical maintenance to ensure the highest reliability and safety of a long-term operation behind the horizon of 2030-2035. “In the Czech Air Force, two-seat L-159 aircraft became a highly used advanced training and light combat platform. Aero Vodochody guarantees stable support for L-159 aircraft on domestic and international domain,” said Jan Štechr, Aero Vodochody Vice President, Military Programs. L-159 aircraft are also used by the Iraqi Air Force and Draken International, a US company that provides training for US Air Force pilots.
The first of five L-159T1 aircraft after PP2000 work was delivered to the Czech Air Force in 2017, additional two were completed and handed over in 2018, and the last two overhauled aircraft this year. Aero currently performs also PP16 maintenance (after 16 years of operation) on single-seat L-159A light combat aircraft. Aero signed a contract for maintenance of 16 L-159A aircraft worth 1.6 billion crowns at the IDET exhibition in Brno in May this year. Recently, the fifth L-159A has arrived to Aero for maintenance.
The 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. 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.
Aero Vodochody Aerospace a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world's air forces and it has a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.