skip to main content

Czech Air Force completes L-159 overhaul and upgrades

Aero Vodochody has delivered back to the Czech Air Force the last of 16 overhauled and upgraded L-159 light fighters. (Aero Vodochody)

The Czech Republic Air Force (Vzdušné Sily Armády Ceské Republiky: VzS AČR) has received back into the service the last of 16 L-159A ALCA light attack and air-defence aircraft to be overhauled and upgraded by Aero Vodochody.

The manufacturer announced the milestone on 19 January, saying that the single-engined jets had all completed a two-year refurbishment and modernisation process, with the final aircraft delivered back to the 21st Tactical Air Force Base at Caslav.

“To ensure the operational capability of the L-159 fleet and the defence of the Czech Republic, we delivered the repaired aircraft at regular intervals from September 2020 until the end of 2022, when we completed the repair of the last aircraft,” saidViktor Sotona, president and CEOofAero Vodochody.

Known as Prescribed Periodic (PP) 16, the overhaul included inspection and testing of all parts of the aircraft, including cockpit instruments and avionics. Further to refurbishment work, PP16 includes the addition of a night-vision goggle capability, new electronic backup display, and other enhancements.

The domestically produced L-159A Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) has been in production since the early 1990s and in Czech service since 2000, operating as a ‘force multiplier' for the Saab Gripen C combat aircraft.

The L-159 is similar in appearance and configuration to the earlier L-39/59, but features a larger, redesigned nose to accommodatea radar; a longer fuselage; the option for a single-seat armoured cockpit with 297 kg of additional fuel in lieu of the rear seat for the ALCA model; modern controls and avionics; as well as permanent wingtip fuel tanks.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...