The first L-159T2 for the Czech Air Force made its first flight on August 2, 2018, at Aero Vodochody Airport.
Czech Air Force ordered three L-159T2 twin seat aircraft with several upgrades on board in 2016 to fulfil operational missions and advanced jet training. The L-159T2s are supposed to be delivered to the 21. Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav till the end of this year.
The successful first flight of L-159T2 with tail number 6028, piloted by Aero’s test pilots Vladimír Kvarda and David Jahoda, lasted 30 minutes. “Aero achieved another important milestone. Thanks to this cooperation with our national customer, the L-159 program got additional features. Based on requirements of the Czech Air Force, we will deliver additional twin seaters that are suitable for not only advanced pilot training but are also equipped for military operations,” said President & CEO of Aero Vodochody Giuseppe Giordo.
These new T2 twin seat aircraft have newly built central and forward fuselage and are fully NVG compatible. Each cockpit is further equipped with two Multi Function Displays and upgraded version of an ejection seat VS-20. The aircraft is also adapted to offer a pressure refueling capability. The Grifo radar, commonly used in single seat version, is now integrated also into the dual seat L-159T2 as well as the self protection systems (countermeasures and radar warning receiver).
The L-159 aircraft is operated by Czech Air Force, Iraqi Air Force and US company Draken International. In the past, L-159s were leased by Hungarian Air Force to train pilots.
At Farnborough Air Show 2018, Aero Vodochody and its strategic partner, Israeli IAI, introduced a multirole aircraft for close air support F/A-259 Striker. The F/A-259 Striker combines the robustness and effectiveness of its successful predecessor – the L-159 Alca – with the latest advances in avionics and aircraft systems technology. Using benefits of a wet wing, F/A-259 Striker provides superior performance, great maneuverability, and a high range.