The growing global need for light attackers has spurred development of all types of low-altitude weapons delivery platforms. The F/A-259 "Striker" is one such entry, announced at Farnborough 2018. The project is a teaming of Aero Vodochody of Czechia and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) of Israel, bringing decades of defense experience to a shared design, billing F/A-259 is billed as a successor to the earlier L-159 ALCA type that failed to net any notable interest.
The F/A-259 will be used to cover a variety of roles including COunter-INsurgency (COIN), border patrol, and general attack sorties.
The new multi-role platform is being marketed with versatility and ruggedness in mind, capable of operating from forward bases from unprepared airfields and covering a plethora of over-battlefield roles. The aircraft is set to feature 4th Generation aviations along with optional AESA (Active, Electronically-Scanned Array) radar in the nose while having inherent benefits of maneuverability, range (further increased by the optional air-to-air refueling capability), and general performance for an attacker of this class. All this with the budget-conscious customer at the forefront - those requiring a lightweight, attack-minded solution at cost.
In its proposed design layout, the F/A-259 is seen with six hardpoints, three under each wing mainplane member, with a seventh positioned under fuselage centerline (presumably for a fuel tank or targeting pod). This will provide the attacker with access to a bevy of modern options including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, rocket pods, gun pods, and jettisonable fuel tanks.
The F/A-259 continues the clean, streamlined appearance of the preceding L-159 ALCA design with its low-mounted, straight monoplane wing design, single rudder fin, and excellent look-down / all-around cockpit vision. Intakes straddle the fuselage sides and aspirate the assumed turbofan engine installation in the body. A tricycle undercarriage (wheeled and retractable) round out the obvious physical features of the aircraft.
A Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) will be an optional accessory in the cockpit for improved situational awareness. A modular approach to the cockpit will allow for some customization by the customer. A pair of oversized Mulfi-Function Displays (MFDs) will dominate the digital-centric instrument panel. Fly-by-Wire (FbW) will assist in controlling.
If the F/A-259 Striker program picks up steam, it will add an interesting option for nations looking to upgrade their attack fleet. The product will be of particular interest to those air services lacking true 4th Generation multi-role capabilities and requiring something a bit more within budget through a proven design from an long-time industry player like Aero Vodochody. The need for light attackers continues to grow as modern engagements require it.
July 2018 - The F/A-259 Striker was unveiled at Farnborough 2018 by Aero Vodochody.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Survivability enhanced by way of onboard electronic or physical countermeasures enacted by the aircraft or pilot/crew.
Capability to accept fuel from awaiting allied aircraft while in flight.
PILOT / CREW EJECTION SYSTEM
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
42.0 ft (12.80 m)
32.0 ft (9.75 m)
16.4 ft (5.00 m)
9,921 lb (4,500 kg)
20,283 lb (9,200 kg)
+10,362 lb (+4,700 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the F/A-259 Striker production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertains to the F/A-259 Striker production variant)
1 x Non-afterburning turbofan engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
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