L-159 ALCA

Read the forum code of contact

Profile picture for user PhantomII

Member for

20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,989

After seeing all the recent Czech Air Force pics of the Gripen and L-159 I got to wondering......why haven't more people bought this airplane?

It seems to offer some great capabilities for a reasonable price.

I was browsing the net (including Aero's website), and I'm rather taken aback by the variety of muntions it can carry as well as the capabilities it has to train pilots for the world's most advanced fighters.

I hope it gets some export orders because I hate to see the ones that were put into storage by the Czechs to go to waste.

Are any countries even considering the L-159 (A or B models) at this point?

Also, can anyone tell me about the 20-mm cannon pod it can carry? Who makes it and how many rounds does it carry?

Original post
Profile picture for user swerve

Member for

15 years 5 months

Posts: 13,432

After seeing all the recent Czech Air Force pics of the Gripen and L-159 I got to wondering......why haven't more people bought this airplane?...

Big chance of ending up with an "orphan" aircraft. Even a chance of the manufacturer going out of business. Bit risky. Also, the Czechs don't have political or economic clout. Can't offer good offsets of any kind.

I don't think it's to do with tha aircraft itself.

Member for

14 years 8 months

Posts: 120

Times have cleary changed.

After seeing all the recent Czech Air Force pics of the Gripen and L-159 I got to wondering......why haven't more people bought this airplane?
First of all in buying a military trainer (like with other military equipment) a lot of politics is involved. Just good having good product is not enough. In the "Cold War era" Aero got lots of orders from the SU and its Allies. Many thousands of L-29 and L-39 trainers were made. Now in a very competative international trainer market they seemed to have missed the boat. :(
Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

After seeing all the recent Czech Air Force pics of the Gripen and L-159 I got to wondering......why haven't more people bought this airplane?

It seems to offer some great capabilities for a reasonable price.

I was browsing the net (including Aero's website), and I'm rather taken aback by the variety of muntions it can carry as well as the capabilities it has to train pilots for the world's most advanced fighters.

I hope it gets some export orders because I hate to see the ones that were put into storage by the Czechs to go to waste.

Are any countries even considering the L-159 (A or B models) at this point?

Also, can anyone tell me about the 20-mm cannon pod it can carry? Who makes it and how many rounds does it carry?

ZPL-20 Plamen was developed by Czech design company PROTOTYPA Brno and is a product of a traditional Czech armaments company ZVI Vsetín. It can carry 210 cartridge pieces maximally.

specification
http://www.zvi.cz/en/plamen.htm
http://www.prototypa.cz/menu3_en.html

photos
http://www.zvi.cz/pics/plamen/detail2.jpg
http://www.zvi.cz/pics/plamen/detail.jpg
http://www.zvi.cz/pics/plamen/Zaveseny2.jpg
http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/6459/image00013ii9.jpg
http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/6131/next011nm7.jpg
http://img279.imageshack.us/my.php?image=74fu.jpg
http://img117.imageshack.us/my.php?image=z68vi.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=z47yr.jpg
giat gun pod
http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bhkln7nj.jpg

Ex Czech Air Force L159A (over 10 pieces) almost for sure will be sold to Nigeria, Nigerian government has asked for serious Czech government offer in November. At same time Indonesia has announced its interest to buy new L159B from Aero Vodochody. Venezuela wanted to buy L159A and B in the middle of 2006, but Czech government restricted Aero to do the selling for political reason. So there is hight chance to sell L159B to Izraele and Egypt, because L159 selling can be financed by US military support program (even thouth there is less than 50% equipment of US origin in L159A and B, owing to former Boeing financial share in Aero). Further chance of L159A or B is in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Thailand. Albania has a interest in used ex Czech Air Force L159A (but no money)

there is not only L159 plane, L159 is whole system with simulators, support, logistic and diagnostic systems developed by Czech companies E-COM, Retia, Aero etc.
http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sts022to.jpg
http://img159.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sts071kk.jpg
http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sts085gc.jpg
http://img223.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zzzzmmua15of.jpg
http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zzzzztkp18pt.jpg
http://www.afbcaslav.cz/zak/technika/tre/sts05.jpg
http://www.afbcaslav.cz/zak/technika/tre/sts06.jpg
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/8651/l159068mp.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zimg000295pf.jpg
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/4079/l159056bo.jpg
http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/2804/l159018si.jpg
http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/9268/l159027fq.jpg
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/4079/l159056bo.jpg

cockpits
http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alca2710242fl.jpg
http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aero159brear6gj.jpg

some weapons
http://img233.imageshack.us/my.php?image=212ils085mo.jpg
http://img200.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bomb8bz.jpg
http://img427.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img000171yz.jpg
http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img000185np.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=z0opkl40fe.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zhgfhf9wp.jpg
http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aa2003l159b7oo.jpg

Profile picture for user PhantomII

Member for

20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,989

Thanks for the additional details on the cannon pod as well as the great links!

Where do you find all this great stuff?

I love the weapons pictures sepecially. Is that laser-guided bomb a 500-lb. GBU-12 or 1,000-lb. GBU-16? I assume the L-159 can carry up to four of either because I know the four main wing pylons (not counting the two outboard AAM rails) can carry loads of over 1,000 pounds each, but I can't tell which type of bomb it specifically is?

The cannon pod is also interesting. Can you tell me more about how it is aimed? What types of shells can it fire?

Also, what is that large red container on the centerline of the L-159B in the airshow photo and what are the two other stores under the starboard wing?

Interesting to see the AIM-9X in that photo....Are helmet sights a capability for the L-159?

Sorry for all the questions, but I find this airplane fascinating.

Profile picture for user flex297

Member for

17 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

rear cockpit in flight

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q35/flex297/img00003.jpg

Profile picture for user flex297

Member for

17 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

Also, what is that large red container on the centerline of the L-159B in the airshow photo and what are the two other stores under the starboard wing?

A cargo container. The two underwing stores are GIAT 30mm gun pod and a pneumatic multiple ejector rack for practice bombs.

Here the Vinten VICON 18 recce pod
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q35/flex297/VICON18EO-IR.jpg

Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

Thanks for the additional details on the cannon pod as well as the great links!

Where do you find all this great stuff?

I love the weapons pictures sepecially. Is that laser-guided bomb a 500-lb. GBU-12 or 1,000-lb. GBU-16? I assume the L-159 can carry up to four of either because I know the four main wing pylons (not counting the two outboard AAM rails) can carry loads of over 1,000 pounds each, but I can't tell which type of bomb it specifically is?

The cannon pod is also interesting. Can you tell me more about how it is aimed? What types of shells can it fire?

Also, what is that large red container on the centerline of the L-159B in the airshow photo and what are the two other stores under the starboard wing?

Interesting to see the AIM-9X in that photo....Are helmet sights a capability for the L-159?

Sorry for all the questions, but I find this airplane fascinating.

the photos are scanned by me from several Czech magazines, and downloaded from several Czech wesides:)

more weapons
AMRAAM
http://img114.imageshack.us/img114/207/farnborough20024hh.jpg

CBU-87/97 with wings and GPS navigation
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/496/ar1strym0.jpg
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/604/l159026ul1.jpg

the first L159 demonstrator with weapons
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/6051/l159prototyp1ad3.jpg

some more weapons
http://img345.imageshack.us/img345/4397/l159b3tp4.jpg

brimstones and TIALD laser marker (the white container I don´t know)
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/6594/pict6582ux9.jpg

VICON reconnaissance pod
http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/8229/fdgdfgfdstp1.jpg

L-159B with another frontal part for laser markers or optic equipment
http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/3439/l159b19fp7.jpg

further weapons, APOLLO pod, TIALD, Brimstone, Grifo-L radar
http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=skenogghdgdvat0001ba0.jpg
http://img146.imageshack.us/my.php?image=s0001mr3.jpg
http://img146.imageshack.us/my.php?image=skehgnovat0001kx8.jpg

yes, there are GBU-12 and 16 Paveway II laser guided versions of Czech Air Force. Carry capability of L159A is 2500-2700 kg maximally and four main pylons can carry up to 500kg each (central as well)

Central pylon is created mainly for Plamen cannon pod carrying, or reconnaissance pods or markers. What I have heard there is some small special instrument for aiming immediatelly after hanging at the pylon and it´s done in a few minutes. What types of shells? Any NATO standard 20mm shells.

http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/4348/aa2003l159b7oo.jpg
I don´t know the red container but I guess it´s transport container for baggage and some equipment. Under wing is Giat 20mm gun pod (black) and again the same for me unknown container as on the picture with brimstones and tiald ( I guess some reconnaissance pod or pod for electronic warfare or training pod)

I know nothing about helmet sight of L159, Czech air force hasn´t helmet sight even in gripen at this time, but Aero and Czech government have signed contract and plan of the L159 modernisation in 2006 ( so I guess helmet sight will be standard as well as air-refueling stick etc)

some more pictures

L159 system has even special platform for field airport service
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/4498/dfgsdgzp8.th.jpg
http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/2729/grdfrehr7.th.jpghttp://img409.imageshack.us/img409/4809/img00010sb7.th.jpg

L159 the first demonstrator and testing plane
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/4922/0162780cc6.th.jpg
http://img442.imageshack.us/my.php?image=0244878lp2.jpg]

the first L159A prototype
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/9804/0141230zd3.th.jpg
http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/1434/letadla00004zw3.th.jpg

L159B Albatros II
http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/2401/letadla00079mk6.th.jpghttp://img462.imageshack.us/img462/2664/letadla00312ya6.th.jpg

with giat 20mm
http://img175.imageshack.us/my.php?image=letadla00314hw0.jpg
http://img402.imageshack.us/my.php?image=letadla00317ja3.jpg

CzAF L159A cockpit detail
http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=letadla00409vw7.jpg
http://img402.imageshack.us/my.php?image=n7nw6.jpg

ZPL-20 "Plamen" (in English it means "Flame") details
http://img402.imageshack.us/my.php?image=o6hc9.jpg
http://img402.imageshack.us/my.php?image=o8py6.jpg
http://img175.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p1012093tr3.jpg

Czech made VS-2A/B eject seat 0/0 specification (pilot even can eject himselve safety in 150m flying height during the flight on the back
http://img405.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p9102037yb3.jpg

PTL-159 ejecting trainer
http://img405.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ptl159fs2.jpg

rear cockpit of L159B
http://img405.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zadnikokpitiw9.jpg

L159 weapon testing videos
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/l159eccm.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/escape.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/maverick2.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/crv7.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/sraam2.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/plamen1.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/lgb2.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/bsu49.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/maverick1.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/trava.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/cbu87.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/pristani.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/lgb1.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/sraam.mpg
http://www.atmonline.cz/video/maverick.mpg

And... Aero is preparing the development of L-159 with Ukrainian engine and France/EU electronic equipment mainly for Asia market and starting the production of new Ae-270. For example in India BAe Hawk won even thouht the fact that L159B was evaluated as better and more suitable than Hawk but US equipment in L159 was the main reason for Indian refusal.

BWT some Czech L159A pilots have shot down a F-16 and F-18 during several NATO exercises and for example Belgian and Dutch pilots practise air to air combat against Czech gripens and ALCAs regularly as well.

Ae-270 IBIS
http://www.sme.sk/cdata/2611462/20060228003_Ae270_big.jpg
http://img90.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ae270okina18122006st2.jpg
http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ae270okina181220063zg4.jpg

BWT:)correct name is L159A ALCA and L159B Albatros II, not L-159A or L-159B. L-39 Albatros, L-29 Delfín but L159A ALCA:)

Profile picture for user PhantomII

Member for

20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,989

Wow!

Tons of great photos and videos. The ALCA seems very well documented.

I'm wondering about that GIAT 20-mm cannon pod. How does it compare to the Plamen and how many rounds does it carry?

When I was asking about how the cannon pod is aimed I was referring to the pilot. How does he aim it? Does it show a funnel type sight in the HUD like you'd find on many modern fighters these days?

Also, have any Eastern weapons been cleared for the aircraft yet or does that depend on the avionics suite?

What is the range of the Grifo radar as fitted in the ALCA against large and fighter-sized targets? (If you know anything about the Grifo that is....you seem to know this plane pretty well so I thought I'd ask).

Will CzAF ALCA's get the AIM-120 AMRAAM once it enters service with the Gripen?

Member for

14 years 4 months

Posts: 927

rumcajs:

I don´t know the red container but I guess it´s transport container for baggage and some equipment. Under wing is Giat 20mm gun pod (black) and again the same for me unknown container as on the picture with brimstones and tiald

The red container is for target-towing, the white one is a practice bomb (BDU) dispenser - holds 4 small blue practice bombs which release a white smoke on impact.
The pod in the picture with brimstones and TIALD is something else - looks like a photo recon pod.

Phantom II:

I'm wondering about that GIAT 20-mm cannon pod. How does it compare to the Plamen and how many rounds does it carry?

Giat NC 621 has 180 20mm rounds, but only one barrel, while Plamen has 2 barrels.

Profile picture for user PhantomII

Member for

20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,989

Which of those two cannon pod types is actually in service on Czech ALCA's?

Is the other pod just for exports?

What about Eastern weapons integration. Can weapons like R-60, R-73, and Kh-25 be carried?

Profile picture for user flex297

Member for

17 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

Which of those two cannon pod types is actually in service on Czech ALCA's?

Is the other pod just for exports?

What about Eastern weapons integration. Can weapons like R-60, R-73, and Kh-25 be carried?

Politically non-viable.. Although integrating a heatseeking AAM would be fairly easy.
Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

Wow!

Tons of great photos and videos. The ALCA seems very well documented.

I'm wondering about that GIAT 20-mm cannon pod. How does it compare to the Plamen and how many rounds does it carry?

When I was asking about how the cannon pod is aimed I was referring to the pilot. How does he aim it? Does it show a funnel type sight in the HUD like you'd find on many modern fighters these days?

Also, have any Eastern weapons been cleared for the aircraft yet or does that depend on the avionics suite?

What is the range of the Grifo radar as fitted in the ALCA against large and fighter-sized targets? (If you know anything about the Grifo that is....you seem to know this plane pretty well so I thought I'd ask).

Will CzAF ALCA's get the AIM-120 AMRAAM once it enters service with the Gripen?

I don´t know about giat, it´s standard French gun pod, so search the info about that. About aiming of Plamen, sorry mate I am not pilot of ALCA but I have sent the request about that to 212th tactical squadron pilots ( my friend is pilot of the Czech Air Force L159A, so you may be patient about answer;)
L159A or B can´t carry any Eastern tools or equipment because Czech Air Force doesn´t use that, but ZVI Vsetín had some problems with development of Plamen pod a few years ago, so Czech Air Froce chiefs in 2003 adjudicated to adapt gun containers from discarded Su-22M4, SPPU-22-01 containergun pod, or UPK-23-250 from Mi-24 from CzAf stores. But Plamen pod problems had been solved, so there was no reason for different foreign gun pod for L159, simply Plamen is the best choice for ALCA (BWT Mi-24V or Mi-35 or Gripen can carry plamen pod as well)

FIAR Grifo-L multimode radar of L159 has eight air-to-air and ten air-to-ground and navigation modes. The radar has the ability to track eight targets simultaneously and has 100km range against standard air targets.

yes CzAF have ordered AIM-120-C-5 two years ago, but there are problems with a US company again in the cause (as usually). The missiles might have delivered in November 2006, but CzAF still is waiting for that (anyway CzAF is still waiting for the first new A-319CJ, the plane might have been delivered in December 2006)

SPPU-22-01 (sorry the photos are of back fire position
http://forum.valka.cz/download.php/id/6305/sid/c7d9eced16d34402cbe94d3a53310a27
http://forum.valka.cz/download.php/id/6309/sid/c7d9eced16d34402cbe94d3a53310a27
UPK-23-250
http://www.vrtulnik.cz/mil/helo989.jpg

Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

Which of those two cannon pod types is actually in service on Czech ALCA's?

Is the other pod just for exports?

What about Eastern weapons integration. Can weapons like R-60, R-73, and Kh-25 be carried?

Czech Air Force uses only Plamen pod, Giat is "only" Aero alternative offer for foreign clients

as I said, no eastern weapons are adopted for L159 at this time

Profile picture for user PhantomII

Member for

20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,989

Thanks for the clarification about Eastern weapons.

If you come upon any info regarding the AIM-120 AMRAAM or even the AIM-9X Sidewinder and a helmet sight please let me know.

How does the Czech Air Force operate the L159 in conjunction with its Gripens? Is it used in the air-to-air role at all, and more for air-to-ground?

Profile picture for user Analayo

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 137

Thailand already sent our pilot to evaluate those L-159B. But we might not buy them in several years to come due to the fact that we still flying 36 overhualed L-39 ZA/ART and 20 Alphajet A, and the more important things, we still under the coup!!!

Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

Thanks for the clarification about Eastern weapons.

If you come upon any info regarding the AIM-120 AMRAAM or even the AIM-9X Sidewinder and a helmet sight please let me know.

How does the Czech Air Force operate the L159 in conjunction with its Gripens? Is it used in the air-to-air role at all, and more for air-to-ground?

L159A is used for air-to-ground role, gripen for air-policing in CzAF

Profile picture for user Spectral

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 280

According to the lastest AFM issue (February), there have been talks in the past months of selling the L-159 to Nigeria and Indonesia.

Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

the first L159T1 for Czech Air Force

http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8343/01di9om2.jpg
L159T1 and L159B
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/2905/02gv3.jpg
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/4043/10go7.jpg
http://img480.imageshack.us/img480/894/03lu5.jpg
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/1070/05td8.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/7510/jc0401ol8jw8.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/1990/jc0403wx9mw7.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/5642/jc0404vy8by8.jpg
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/265/jc0405dy1ww2.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/7505/jc0406ot7im6.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/5998/jc0408ge7eh9.jpg
http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/8746/jc0402sg4gg4.jpg
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/374/jc0407hb2pw6.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/9995/jc0409qw4ej0.jpg

Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 196

L159T1 and L159B

Could someone enlighten me please? First the two-seater was called L 159T. Then it was renamed into L 159B. And now there's an L 159T1?

Profile picture for user rumcajs

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 581

Could someone enlighten me please? First the two-seater was called L 159T. Then it was renamed into L 159B. And now there's an L 159T1?

two seater has always been named L159B. L159T1 is special version for Czech Air Force, actually it´s not a brand new plane, but rebuilt plane from L159A ALCA. CzAF will get four L159T1 this year and all will be rebuilt from eight Czech Air Force stored L159As.