AERO Vodochody has been granted permission to operate its tunnel firing range to test aerial guns and ammunition. The firing range, which is located on the company’s premises in Vodochody, will be used mainly for shooting air cannons of a caliber larger than 20 mm. The ammunition tunnel firing range may be used for firing activities related to Aero’s manufacturing, development, testing, and commercial activities. This firing range is primarily intended for special ballistic testing of weapons and ammunition of caliber greater than 20 mm. It may also be used for firing various types of firearms firing cartridges of an ammunition nature. The process of obtaining a permit to operate the ammunition tunnel range took more than a year and involved, among other things, the approval of all the authorities concerned, an expert ballistics report and several on-site inspections of the range. The decision to permit the operation of the tunnel shooting range for ammunition in Aero was issued by the Regional Police Directorate of the Central Bohemia Region, Weapons and Security Material Service Department, in accordance with the Firearms and Ammunition Act.
“The range will be used mainly for test firing of air-launched guns. Specifically, for example, the shooting of 23mm cannons from Bulgarian L-39 ZAs, which are undergoing an overhaul in our country, or tests of the potential armament of the new L-39NG trainer aircraft,” specifies Viktor Sotona, President and CEO of Aero.
The tunnel firing range is located in Aero’s fenced compound, north of Vodochody Airport. It is the only firing range in the Czech Republic that is designed for firing from aircraft guns. The shooting range has concrete walls one meter thick and the ceiling at the thickest point at the end of the tunnel is one and a half meters thick. At the end of the tunnel, there is a 15-meter-thick sand mound. All this is designed to safely intercept even large-caliber projectiles. This firing range is a permanent, indoor, tunnel test range not open to the public and not used for business purposes. The range shall permit the firing of authorized weapons and ammunition, by authorized methods of fire as specified in the applicable operating regulations. There is also a 50-meter sport shooting range adjacent to the tunnel ammunition range.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the development, production, maintenance and improvement of civil and military aircraft and is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aircraft manufacturers in the world. In the field of own aircraft, AERO is a permanent partner of a number of military air forces and has a strong position in the market for military trainer and light combat aircraft. With 11,000 aircraft produced in its 100 years of existence, hundreds of L-39 Albatros aircraft still in service with dozens of military operators and a number of demo teams, and especially with its new L-39NG aircraft, AERO has established itself as a leader in the global jet trainer market. In the civil aviation sector, AERO works with major aircraft manufacturers on a wide range of projects and is a partner in several risk-sharing programs, where it is responsible not only for the manufacture and assembly of aircraft assemblies, but also for their development.