Israel Aircraft Industries' Lahav-upgraded Aero Vodochody L-39Albatros advanced trainer will make its debut at the Paris air show. The programme builds on Lahav's work on the upgrade of US Air Force Northrop T-38 Talons and Spanish Northrop F-5B lead-in fighter trainers.

Lahav has provided a virtual radar, using a simple datalink between aircraft and satellite navigation, for its trainer upgrades as well as new glass cockpit, says Beni Manes, Lahav director business development and marketing. The number of L-39s in service makes the trainer an attractive proposition for a modification package. "The L-39 is a good platform with poor avionics," he adds.

The company joined local partner Avirs to upgrade a Ukrainian air force L-39 last year. "We took the Spanish [F-5] package and built a demonstrator," says Manes. The aircraft has a multifunction display in addition to a heads-up display, retaining traditional basic flight instruments that would be replaced in a full upgrade, says Manes.

Lahav has offered its virtual radar system to the Royal Australian Air Force for its BAE Systems Hawks. Manes says the company would also like to work with Aermacchi to offer upgrades for its trainers. Lahav will also display at Paris for the first time outside India, a Hindustan Aeronautics Dhruv (formerly Advanced Light Helicopter) with a Lahav-supplied avionics system. It includes a three-dimensional moving map display, and options for a helmet-mounted sight and weapons integration.

Source: Flight International