Light combat aircraft

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An Aero L-159 Alca, a type of light combat aircraft

A light combat aircraft is a light multirole jet 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 and most are only capable of subsonic speeds 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-hostile aircraft/helicopter missions not for air defense as lightweight fighters do, though some are capable of air to air combat or point air defense 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, ECM pods (Electronic Countermeasure) and electronic targeting systems for better mission capability.[11][12][13][14][15][16]



Country Manufacturer Aircraft Introduced Variants Development Photo
 United States Northrop Corporation F-5 1962 Canadair CF-5
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Northrop F-20 Tigershark
Designed as a multirole light combat aircraft J-3005.jpg
 Iran HESA Azarakhsh 1997 HESA Saeqeh
HESA Kowsar
Designed as a multirole light combat aircraft, derived from the F-5 An IRIAF HESA Azarakhsh in Vahdati Airbase Air Show.JPG
 India Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL Tejas 2015 Navy variant LCA Mark 1A Mark-1 to be developed into Mark-1A and Mark-2 IAF Tejas full size (32941198511).jpg
 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-346FA/FT 2004 M-346 trainer Improved and modified M346FA/FT for multirole fighter and attack missions M346-2023.jpg
MB-339C 1979 A/B C variant modified and upgraded Aermacchi MB-339K Veltro 2 AN1917934.jpg
 South 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
Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China,Pakistan Aeronautical Complex(PAC) JF-17 2007 JF-17B Designed as a light multi-role combat aircraft, It is not a Light Attack Jet. Pakistan JF-17 (modified).jpg
 China Hongdu L-15 2010 A, AW, B, Z, JL-10 Designed as an advanced trainer, and light combat aircraft. Hongdu L-15 Falcon.jpg
 Russia Yakovlev YAK-130 1996 YAK-131 Designed as a light attack/fighter/trainer Yakovlev Yak- 130 (modify).jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reed Business Information Limited. "PICTURES: KAI rolls out first production T/A-50".
  2. ^ Wright 1992, p. 251
  3. ^ "The Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer breaks the sound barrier. After 50 years an all-Italian aircraft flies at Mach 1" (PDF) (Press release). Alenia Aermacchi. 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "[사진] 국산 초음속 경공격기 "발사"". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26.
  5. ^ "Aero L-159 Alca" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on November 2, 2004.
  6. ^ Reed Business Information Limited. "T/A-50 makers plan Israeli pitch".
  7. ^ "British Aerospace Hawk 100 & Hawk 200". Archived from the original on 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ T-50 Golden Eagle Jet Trainer and Light Attack Aircraft, South Korea. Air Force Technology.
  12. ^ "국방일보".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

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