Aero L-159T2 makes first flight
Upgraded two-seat version flies, as L-39NG assembly advances.
Aero Vodochody has announced the successful first flight of the L-159T2 trainer for the Czech Air Force. The flight took place on 2nd August. The Czech Air Force has ordered three L-159T2 twin seat aircraft — a derivative of the original single-seat L-159 light combat aircraft — to fulfil operational missions and advanced jet training.
The L-159T2s are scheduled for delivery to the 21. Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav by the end of this year.
The T2 version features new-build central and forward fuselages, an upgraded cockpit and fuel systems, and full NVG compatibility. Each cockpit is equipped with two Multi-Function Displays and upgraded VS-20 ejection seats.
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).
At Farnborough 2018, Aero Vodochody and its strategic partner, Israel's IAI, introduced an upgraded version of the L-159, designated F/A-259 Striker.
In other news, the Czech firm says that assembly of the first L-39NG jet trainer — an upgraded version of the L-39 Albatros, powered by the Williams International FJ44-4M engine — is proceeding according to schedule. The airframe is 70% complete, with the wing/fuselage join-up scheduled for September, followed by roll-out in October.