Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody has declared success following a series of weapons tests on the Next Generation iteration of the company’s L-39 jet trainer.
Aero Vodochody said on 13 April it has tested the L-39NG’s primary weapon systems, including both missiles and bombs. Some 230 missiles were fired and 66 bombs dropped during several weeks of system tests in Hungary, the company says.
The single-engined L-39NG is primarily intended for use as a jet trainer aircraft – a follow up to Aero Vodochody’s L-39 Albatross trainer. However, the NG version is also capable of performing light combat missions, including reconnaissance, close air support and counterinsurgency support.
“All tests met expectations,” the company says. The three-phased evaluations began on 13 February and involved testing of emergency load drops, assessing bomb and missile accuracy and studying the impact on engine performance of missile firing.
“During the tests, the pilots fired a total of 230 S-5 missiles and dropped 42 P-50-75 and 24 OFAB-100-120 bombs,” the company notes.
The L-39NG is notable for its ability to operate both NATO-standard armaments and Soviet Bloc munitions. The type can also be configured to operate with either NATO or Russian flight computers.
Hundreds of L-39s are in service globally, Cirium data shows. The type is popular in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Several countries have logged orders for the new L-39NG, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Senegal and Vietnam.