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Air Platforms

Farnborough 2018: Aero reveals F/A-259 light attack jet

16 July 2018
The F/A-259 is the latest iteration of the L-159 light attack jet that first entered service in the 1990s. Source: Aero Vodochody via IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody has revealed a new more capable variant of its L159 light attack aircraft, designated the F/A-259.

Artwork and performance specifications for the single-seat F/A-259 were shown for the first time at the Farnborough Airshow on 16 July. The F/A-259 builds on the L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA), which has been in operation since the early 1990s.

As noted by Aero, this new variant has been developed in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). It is powered by a single F124-GA-100 engine that provides the best thrust-to-weight performance in its class, and features a night-vision goggle (NVG)-compatible ‘glass’ cockpit with colour multifunctional display units, datalinks hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls, and a synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication (SAR/GMTI) sensor. Optional upgrades listed by Aero include a helmet-mounted display (HMD) system, an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, aerial refuelling, and satellite communications.

Weapons comprise general purpose ‘dumb’ bombs, laser-guided bombs, unguided rockets, air-to-surface and short-range air-to-air missiles, and a twin-barrelled 20 mm cannon pod. The aircraft is also provisioned to carry reconnaissance and targeting pods.

Performance specifications listed by the company include a top speed of 0.82 Mach, a maximum rate-of-climb of 10,400 ft/min, a service ceiling of 43,000 ft, and a maximum g-loading of +8/-4 g.

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