Lakeland, FL (PRWEB) July 20, 2016
Draken International, operator of the world’s largest fleet of ex-military fighter aircraft, has successfully deployed aircraft in support of the US Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Between June 25th and July 1st, Draken deployed six A-4 Skyhawk’s from Nellis Air Force Base, along with 28 pilots and maintainers, and flew 36 sorties in support of F-35 upgrade training for AETC and coalition instructor pilots as well as USAF F-16 requalification training at Luke Air Force Base. The purpose of the mission was to provide “Red Air” support for AETC 4th & 5th generation fighter jets as well as Norway’s elite F-35 instructor pilots. Draken’s A-4 Skyhawks are equipped with 4th generation capabilities, including APG-66 radar, in order to provide credible threat replication and adversary support.
“Utilizing a reliable and low-cost 3rd gen platform with 4th gen capabilities allows Draken to provide a practical, sustainable, and most importantly, cost-effective solution to meet the extraordinary demand for Red Air across all armed services. With the recent announcement of a new USAF contract, Draken has now been entrusted to deploy in support of other US Air Force commands at the discretion of the 57th ATG commander,” states Nick “CAT” Guttman, Draken Project Officer for this recent deployment. Guttman went on to explain, “Air Forces around the globe are quickly recognizing the need for adversary aircraft and Draken is the solution; we provide contract air support at a lower cost yet still represent a highly capable adversary that can help maintain the edge warfighter’s need to fight tomorrow’s wars.”
Major Morten “Dolby” Manche stated, “The Draken A-4s we faced in these exercises had sensor performance along the lines of our own upgraded F-16s to include EA jammers. The Draken pilots are very experienced with detailed knowledge of “fifth generation” tactics and weapons. With the assistance of intercept controllers on the ground, Draken adapted their training and offered us a reactive and challenging opponent.”
Draken’s CEO Jared Isaacman explains, “There is an adversary deficit across many coalition military services and we believe the solution is commercially-provided professional, threat representative and cost-effective Red Air augmented by established military aggressors and enhanced through Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) technology. This successful deployment is impressive, not only because it’s the first exercise in support of AETC, but also because Draken was able to execute multiple simultaneous sorties out of upwards of six different operating locations throughout the same period. This deployment is further validation of our unique but essential business model and also the quality of our aircraft and the professionalism of the former military men and women that maintain and pilot our aircraft.”
Draken has delivered successful and sustained flight operations for the US Air Force and US Marine Corps over the past year, including the Weapons Instructor Course, Red Flag, Joint Operational Test Team, and JTAC schoolhouse.