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Mon, Apr 14, 2008

L-159s Join International Exercise 'Flying Rhino'

Joins Established Fighter Aircraft In Training Mission

Eastern European planemaker Aero Vodochody notes with pride its L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft joined the largest international exercise over the Czech Republic -- dubbed "Flying Rhino" -- which started Monday. The training exercise includes the Czech Joint Forces, Armed Forces of Denmark, Great Britain and Slovakia.

"Thanks to its design, equipment and characteristics, the L-159 represents an optimal combat aircraft for the type of operation, which the Flying Rhino focuses on," said Col. Petr Mikulenka, Commander-in-Chief of the 21st Air Force Base. The aim of the exercise is to improve ground and air forces collaboration in air-to-ground missions.

The L-159 ALCA is single-seat light multirole combat aircraft primarily designed for air-to-ground missions. The aircraft is equipped with advanced navigation and communication system, and multirole radar capable of detecting and navigating the pilot for a wide range of targets. Accurate weapon delivery and "first-pass – first-kill" capability minimizes exposure in the target area.

Aero states the L-159 can carry a wide range of smart weapons comparable to the latest fighter aircraft and thanks to its relatively small size and effective camouflage the aircraft is hard to be detected. The pilot is protected by a self-protection system, armored cockpit or by inert fuel tanks. Moreover, the aircraft is capable of taking off and landing on unpaved strips.

The L-159 joins the ranks of some established heavy hitters in Flying Rhino. Other aircraft participating in the exercise include the JAS 39 Gripen and L-39 Albatros aircraft, Mi-24 and Mi-17 helicopters, and British Tornados and Hawks and Slovak L-39s.

FMI: www.aero.cz

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