Light combat aircraft

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This article refers to a class of aircraft. For India's (LCA) Light Combat Aircraft programme see HAL Tejas.
An Aero L-159 Alca, a type of light combat aircraft

A Light combat aircraft is a light multirole military aircraft most coming from advanced trainers that have been modified or designed for engaging in light combat missions, either in light strike or attack missions, reconnaissance or interdiction roles while some keeping its trainer role.[1][2] They are also slower than their bigger counterparts capable only of subsonic speed though some are capable of reaching mach 1+.[3] Although equipped with either guns or short range air-to-air missiles[4] it is usually for self-defense purpose or anti-helicopter missions not for air defense as lightweight fighters do, though some are capable of air combat missions due to integrated or have variants capable of carrying powerful multi-mode radar systems,[5][6][7] most LCAs don't have such due to their small limited design or are less powerful. However they can still be used to patrol the skies and implement border patrol or air policing.[8][9][10] These aircraft are usually smaller and more lightly armed than the bigger multirole or strike aircraft such as the American F-18, F-15E Strike Eagle or Russian Mig-29. Most LCAs are armed with either bombs, rockets or gun pods used for COIN or CAS missions. Some aircraft have been developed to integrate more advanced armaments such as smart bombs and air to ground missiles and electronic targeting systems for better mission capability.[11][12][13]



Country Manufacturer Aircraft Introduced Variants Development Photo
 Czech Republic Aero Vodochody L-159 ALCA 2000 L-159T1,T2,A/B Designed as a multirole light combat aircraft derived from the L-59 L-159 ALCA Czech Air Force.jpg
Dornier of Germany
and Dassault-Breguet of France
Alpha jet MS2, ATS 1973 Jet A/B,2 MS and ATS variant modified and upgraded Alpha jet zj646 arp.jpg
 Italy Alenia Aermacchi M-346 2004 M346-2023.jpg
MB-339C 1979 A/B C variant modified and upgraded Aermacchi MB-339K Veltro 2 AN1917934.jpg
 Republic of Korea Korea Aerospace Industries TA-50 2005 T-50/FA-50 2nd variant, evolution from the T-50 AJT, modified and upgraded Lead In Fighter Trainer TA-50 in KAI.jpg
 United Kingdom BAE Systems MAS Division BAE Hawk 200 1976 Hawk 100 Developed and re-designed from Hawk trainer, upgraded weapons and sensors for air-to-air, air-to-ground and maritime roles BAE Hawk 208 edited.png
 Yugoslavia Aeronautical Technical Institute G-4MD Super Galeb 1983 G-4/S 4M variant modified and upgraded SOKO G-4 Super Galeb.jpg
 India Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL Tejas 2015 Navy variant Mark1 to be developed into Mark2 and Mark3 IAF Tejas full size (32941198511).jpg


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