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  • err.....Air Defence 2009



    Czech L-159s: Cheap to Good Home

    Bolivia’s air force declares that it will purchase 5 single-seat L-159 light attack fighters and a twin-seat L-159T under the Air Surveillance and Control modernization program. Bolivian President Evo Morales has signed decree 29852, an order that includes the 6 planes, a flight simulator, pilot and maintenance training, spare parts, and other standard support. Despite Morales’ ties to volatile Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, American consent was reportedly forthcoming for re-export of the L-159’s advanced electronics. The deal is worth $57.9 million, and will be paid in 4 installments: $11 million in 2009, and 3 more $15.6 million payments from 2010-2012. After that, matters become less clear.

    Czech reports state that the 6 L-159s will have to undergo an overhaul worth over CZK 400 million ($18.7 million) before their transfer to Bolivia, to be paid by the Czech Republic’s Defence Ministry. On the other hand, President Morales’ decree appears to mention new aircraft, so this aspect is still slightly unclear. DID believes that refurbished aircraft are the likely bet, as restarting a production line is far too expensive.
    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...od-home-03494/
    You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race

  • #2
    And in the latest news, Defence Minister Willie O'Dea has announced the purchase of half-a-dozen "Hurricane" fighters from UsatabeHawkers aircraft manufacturer of the UK.The aircraft feature a 1020 hp engine, eight machine guns, armourplated windscreen, constant-speed propellor, supercharger, VHF radio, a fabric-covered airframe and a cool Irvin jackets for the pilots.A picture of the aircraft is featured above, which is a bit blurry as that inconsiderate Czech b'stard scared the sh1te out of the DF photographer with his low run.....
    regards
    GttC

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    • #3
      Czech reports state that the 6 L-159s will have to undergo an overhaul worth over CZK 400 million ($18.7 million) before their transfer to Bolivia, to be paid by the Czech Republic’s Defence Ministry. On the other hand, President Morales’ decree appears to mention new aircraft, so this aspect is still slightly unclear. DID believes that refurbished aircraft are the likely bet, as restarting a production line is far too expensive.
      Rather than "new", I imagine they are 15 year old airframes with zero hours or "new" as in different from what we have at the moment.
      Last edited by Victor; 24 January 2009, 04:42.
      Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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      • #4
        Aren't the L159 merely a L59 with westernised avionics?


        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Victor View Post
          Rather than "new", I imagine they are 15 year old airframes with zero hours or "new" as in different from what we have at the moment.
          I could be wrong on this but as far as I know the L159 only went into production in 2002 so 15 year old airframes are unlikely.
          I believe said aircraft is a new design and not a remodeled L59.....
          The L159 was/is one of the more ''hyped'' light-fighter/advanced trainers of modern times, but unfortunatly did not live up to it's PR, it offers little advantage over the PC-9M apart from it's ablity to carry and deliver almost the entire NATO inventory, and being a jet offers an illusion of superority.
          "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
          Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
          Illegitimi non carborundum

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          • #6
            I would have to say the L159 offers many advantages over the PC-9 and that it's earlier ancestors the L-39/139/59 do not. For a start it is radar equipped and it can carry Sidewinders. It has come out on top against many NATO fighter types in close air to air combat engagement trials and it provides a decent CAP ability. There are still plenty of hardly used airframes in storage out of the 72 originally ordered. Wouldn't be a bad stepping stone to pick up a few in terms of developing air to air and air to ground tactics with a wide variety of weapons. It has a higher service ceiling and is faster,even though being subsonic it's interception abilities from a standing start are quite limited. It is not a trainer so it's in a different class to the PC-9. Something more akin to the Hawk 200 or even the AMX, with a smaller weapons load than the Itialian job of course. 8 of these could be picked up for a song, and in service within a few months. As I said a fantastic stepping stone.

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            • #7
              Also, consider that the Bolivians were so stuck for modern aircraft that they sent their ancient Lockheed T-33s to the USA for rebuild, to glass-cockpit standard.I don't know if they ever finished that contract but I'd say their pilots would bite your hand off for L-159s. It's not that long ago when our lot would have given you their first-born for L-39s. A cheapish job lot of 159s would at least give our lot some credible firepower, on genuine combat aircraft, on an aircraft of well-proven pedigree.
              regards
              GttC

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              • #8
                If nothing else it would silence the "we want jets" people once and for all.


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                • #9
                  They may be dirt cheap but we wouldn't take them if they were free. Operating costs and buying precision guided weapons for them(what's the point in having them if you don't) would see to that.

                  You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race

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                  • #10
                    I think you'd find that their normal operating costs (fuel/spares/training) are probably no worse than the PC-9s, if not better and there would be no immediate need to buy PGMs.They are rugged, reliable, easy to use and have proven ancestry so they would be a good deal.
                    regards
                    GttC

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                    • #11
                      How come the Czechs bought Gripens, instead of using the L-159s?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by easyrider View Post
                        How come the Czechs bought Gripens, instead of using the L-159s?
                        The Grippen being your full on light weight operate from anywhere multirole light fighter whilst the L159 is an advanced training type aircraft?
                        Two different types and perhaps they felt they could get by with what existing trainers and the L159's were duplication at extra cost for not greatly enhanced capabilities?

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                        • #13
                          They originally intended to operate both with the Gripen being a replacement for the Mig-21 but the cost was seen as being too high.

                          Last edited by Fireplace; 24 January 2009, 23:15.
                          You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                            If nothing else it would silence the "we want jets" people once and for all.
                            Only 'till they wore out
                            "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                            Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                            Illegitimi non carborundum

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                            • #15
                              The Gripen is an excellent aircraft and given our defence buying background with Sweden, an aircraft, I'm sure,would appeal to the Donners and the mandarins.Yes, I know, I'm walting...sorry
                              regards
                              GttC

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