Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Czech aerospace manufacturer Aero Vodochody have defended pitching their F/A-259 Striker jet to the US Air Force more than a year after the service’s light attack experiment started.
Aero Vodochody CEO Giuseppe Giordo said he believes his company’s jet would be eligible for a not-yet-announced OA-X competition – even though Textron’s AirLand Scorpion jet was rejected in February from the USAF’s demonstrations – because it is cost effective and is a production model, a requirement for the USAF.
Giordo added that the speed of the F/A-259 Striker jet would help the aircraft get on the scene of a battle much faster – an advantage over turboprop participants in the light attack demonstration, the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine.
“We are confident that the turboprop solution is not the right solution for the US,” he says. “We can offer better performances with similar prices to turbo prop.”
The F/A-259 is an advanced variant of the L-159 ALCA, an Aero trainer and light attack jet.
Benjamin Cohen, general manager of the Lahav division of IAI, says that his company would install the avionic system and an active electronically scanned array radar for the aircraft. The company would also install a data link system to allow the F/A-259 to aim at a target while another aircraft fires a missile at the mark.