September 17, 2020 – Aero Vodochody handed over to the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav the first of 16 single-seat L-159 ALCA aircraft, which are undergoing periodic work after sixteen years of operation (PP16), the operation of those light combat aircraft will be extended by another eight years on the basis of a contract with the Czech army.
A contract for repairs of single-seat L-159 aircraft for a total of 1.6 billion crowns (EUR 60 million) was signed in 2019 at the IDET trade fair in Brno. “We are now delivering the first finished aircraft, we currently have another 8 aircraft in different stages of work-in-process and another L-159 should arrive in Aero to be overhauled at the end of this year. Deliveries of aircraft will run at regular intervals until the end of 2022 so as to ensure the operability of the L-159 fleet and the defence capability of the Czech Republic,” said Jan Štechr, vice president of Aero Vodochody for MRO business.
In addition to the prescribed work, Aero Vodochody also provides number of upgrades to the L-159 aircraft. One of them is adjustment for use of NVG (night vision goggles): adaptation of the cockpit and installation of internal and external airplane lighting (positional, anti-collision and formation lights). Aero cooperates with the Czech army to make the whole L-159 fleet NVG compatible in a near future.
Another upgrade is installation of ESIS – Electronic Standby Instrument System, able to substitute several standby instruments and provide the pilot with attitude, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed and heading data in the event of a panel failure.
L-159 in service of Czech Air Force
Czech Air Force is currently operating 16 single seat L-159 aircraft, 5 double-seat L-159T1 and 3 double-seat L-159T2 for advance training.
Photos courtesy Aero Vodochody