Aero Vodochody Aerospace announced details of a comprehensive L-159 upgrade during its recent L-39 User Group conference.
According to Massimo Ghione, Chief Business Officer, the mid-life upgrade on offer to the Czech Air Force (CzAF) would cover a new ‘fourth generation-plus’ avionics package, software improvements to the Grifo radar, a targeting pod, a new electronic warfare suit, ‘wet’ (fitted with fuel tanks) wings, wing-tip air-to-air missile launchers, a fixed air-to-air refuelling probe, full night vision goggle (NVG) configuration in the cockpit, and a helmet mounted display.
“We are trying to find a substantial upgrade solution for the Czech Air Force and the international market,” he added.
This would see the L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) modified to cope with the new threats of close air support that have emerged since the mid-1990s when the aircraft was designed.
The CzAF, which took delivery of 24 L-159s from 2000-2007, has still not committed to an upgrade. However, it is going ahead with the acquisition of three brand new L159T2s and the upgrade of five L159T1s to the same standard. They will feature new cockpit avionics including four 7in × 5in multi-function displays (MFDs) instead of the existing 4in × 4in ones, a new Grifo radar, and ‘wet’-wings.
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