F/A-259 Striker is a new light attack aircraft developed by Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The light attack aircraft was unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow held at Farnborough Airport, UK, in July 2018. It is designed primarily to replace the combat proven L-159 Alca aircraft and address the multi-role fighter requirements of the air forces across the globe.
The aircraft is tailored to support close air support, border patrolling, counter insurgency (COIN), search-and-rescue, and reconnaissance missions.
F/A-259 Striker aircraft design and development F/A-259’s design is based on the L-159 Alca light subsonic attack jet and advanced trainer. It will feature a low-mounted wing configuration and its wet wing design will provide superior manoeuvrability and range. The aircraft will integrate a conventional tail configuration with a single vertical stabiliser.
The design allows for take-off from unpaved airstrips and rough runways, enabling the aircraft to perform missions in adverse conditions.
The aircraft can be installed with air-to-air refuelling systems to attain greater range and endurance for long-range missions.
The attack aircraft will have a length of 12.8m, wingspan of 9.75m and maximum ramp weight of 7,982 kg.
Cockpit and avionics of F/A-259
The F/A-259 will feature an advanced digital glass cockpit and can accommodate a single pilot. The night-vision goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit will integrate two large high-definition multi-functional displays that provide the environmental data, air traffic data, maps, current location and navigation, and other mission-related data.
The electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) aboard the cockpit will include a primary flight display (PFD), navigational displays, altitude indicators, and engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS).
The aircraft will also feature a hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) control system, and IAI Elta multi-functional synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with ground moving target indication (GMTI).
The high situational awareness capability of the aircraft will be complemented by a real-time data link embedded in the avionics suite. The avionics suite will be based on the open architecture framework.
The aircraft can be optionally equipped with a helmet-mounted display (HMD) system and active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
Armament on the F/A-259 aircraft
The light attack aircraft will feature seven hard-points, which allow it to carry a range of weapon systems. Three hard-points will be located under each wing on either side of the fuselage, while the under-fuselage will be attached with a single hard-point. The aircraft can be armed with a mix of weapons, including a twin-barrelled 20mm cannon pod, general-purpose dumb bombs (GPDB/GBU), air-to-air missiles (AAM), air-to-surface missiles (ASM), laser-guided bombs (LGB) and unguided rockets.
It will also feature dedicated mounts to carry targeting and reconnaissance pods.
Performance of F/A-259 Striker aircraft
The F/A-259 Striker fighter jet will be equipped with a Honeywell F124 turbofan engine. Its engine will have a low bypass ratio and will meet challenging requirements of modern light combat aircraft. It will enable the aircraft to deliver superior performance, improved manoeuvrability, and long endurance.
The power plant will enable the aircraft to attain a maximum speed of 0.82 Mach. The maximum operational altitude of the aircraft will be 43,000ft, while its maximum rate-of-climb will be 10,400ft/min and maximum g-loading limit will be +8/-4g.