CURRENT & PAST MISSIONS
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE COMMERCIAL “ADVERSARY” CONTRACT
Mission Type: Adversary Support
Since 2015, Draken International has been contracted to provide adversary support for the USAF, using its A-4Ks and Aero Vodochody L-159E ALCA fighter jets to replicate numerous threat types.
This is an historic first for the USAF in contracting services on a large scale. The program calls for a flying turn pattern of six aircraft followed by four aircraft. Draken has deployed eight A-4s in support of its year-long contract providing up to 1000 hours of flying for the USAF. The aircraft and aircrew are based on the ramp at Nellis and operate side-by-side with the USAF Aggressor Squadron, the 64th.
USMC Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTAC) Training
Mission Type: Close Air Support (CAS), Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC)
Draken International provides extensive Live Close Air Support for USMC Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTAC) training. Aircraft, operating at ranges on both coasts, support JTACs with the delivery of BDU-33 training munitions, with precision accuracy. This critical service ensures essential training while preserving flight hours on USMC fighter assets and reducing costs.
This contract, which began in March of 2015 and extends through to September of 2017, has provided a new standard of service to the USMC, and Draken International has been praised by Marines; from the operators on the ground, up to the HQ level.
Draken International’s Completes a Successful Deployment for the USAF Air Education and Training Command.
Mission Type: Adversary Support
Following over a year of successful & sustained flight operations for the US Air Force and US Marine Corps, including the Weapons Instructor Course, Red Flag, Joint Operational Test Team, and JTAC schoolhouse, Draken International, with the largest fleet of commercial fighter aircraft deployed in support of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Draken A-4 Skyhawk aircraft, equipped with 4th generation capabilities, was tasked to turn up the heat and deploy to Luke AFB, delivering essential adversary support to the largest Fighter Wing in the world. The purpose of the mission was to provide red air support for AETC 4th & 5th generation fighter jets and Norwegian’s elite F-35 instructor pilots.
Between June 25th and July 1st, Draken International deployed six A-4 Skyhawk’s from Nellis AFB, 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. Draken’s A-4 Skyhawk’s are equipped with APG-66 radars, which replicate 4th generation aircraft capabilities and proved to be a credible opponent for Luke’s F-35s and F-16s. “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 an extraordinary demand for Red Air across all services. With the recent announcement of the 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. I have a feeling this will be the first of many deployments outside of our home base at Nellis” 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 war.”
Japanese Defense Force at White Sands Missile Range
Mission Type: R&D, Live Air Support
September 19th, 2016 – Draken International continues to exceed capacity expectations with the successful deployment of 18 tactical fighter aircraft to Holloman AFB from September 9-17th. Throughout the week, Draken maintenance flawlessly supported 32 missions daily with pilots flying a 16 x 16 flight schedule in numerous platforms to include A-4Ks, A-4Ns, L-159s, L-39s, MB-339s, and F-5s. This increase in flying volume is an industry first and is a true testament to Draken’s commitment to expanding its fleet to meet growing demands. With aircraft based throughout the country, Draken deployed assets to Alamogordo, New Mexico beginning September 9th and staged operations out of Holloman AFB. These dedicated missions were flown over the White Sands Missile Range in support of Japanese Chu-SAM (KAI) testing, a medium range Surface-to-Air Missile similar to the US Army’s Patriot missile. This significant test required multiple flights at various altitudes and airspeeds in an effort to challenge the Chu-SAM system. Draken developed intricate plans that put the Japanese defense system to the test with safe yet contested presentations with unrivaled capacity.
“This exercise demonstrated Draken’s capacity to meet and exceed growing requirements within our commercial industry. We see our aircraft not as platforms, but as continuously expanding capabilities”, states Sean Gustafson, VP of Business Development. “In the very near future, we will provide a supersonic, data-linked passive IR shooter capability. The proven capacity flown this past week is second to none in the industry.”
Multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Exercise
Mission Type: Adversary Support
In 2015, Draken International flew its A4K fighter jets as simulated adversaries during operational testing of the F-35 at Edwards Air Force Base, the first instance of any commercial air services company providing adversary support for the F-35.
The large force training exercise was initiated by the 323rd Test and Evaluation Squadron and supported by the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team (JOTT), from August 17 through 28. Draken flew as many as five A-4Ks simultaneously as adversaries against Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 aircraft, as well as Royal Netherlands F-16 Vipers. This support continues on a regular basis at Edwards, with up to seven Draken aircraft based there on the ramp at a given time.
Draken A-4Ks are equipped with Pulse Doppler radar, electronic attack pods, and ground controllers to provide realistic threat presentations for integrated F-35 operational testing. The test exercise enabled an initial assessment of fourth and fifth-generation fighter integration, including Link-16 interoperability aspects.
Draken continues to support the multinational F-35 community including the United States, the Royal Australian Air Force, the UK Royal Air Force and the Netherlands.
Air National Guard Exercise: “Northern Lightning”
Mission Type: Adversary Support
The Air National Guard relied on Draken International’s contract air services to support the Guard’s annual training exercises for a large scale mission. During the “Northern Lightning 2015” exercise conducted from June 8 to19 at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Wisconsin, Draken A-4s primarily served in the adversary role. Equipped with electronic warfare pods, radars, and GPS training pods, they were able to provide a very credible and realistic threat at considerable cost savings.
Draken International deployed five A-4Ks, with a team of maintenance professionals and expert pilots, to integrate with the Air National Guard F-16s participating in Northern Lightning. F-16s and personnel from Air National Guard units from Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota and Oklahoma all contributed to the training event. Flying side by side with the Guard F-16’s, Draken A-4Ks performed the role of the enemy. The training was further enhanced by simulated airborne and ground-based threats. For the cost of one F-16 flight hour, all of AATC’s aircraft executed operational training against five Draken aircraft.
Draken continues to support the US Air National Guard globally.
The demand for contract air support is extensive and covers many fields within the defense industry. Our aircraft operate in numerous roles, including supporting UAV’s, space / missile defense, test pilot schools, the intelligence industry, chase services, R&D and other departments requiring capable and affordable aviation assets. These mission sets are not limited to what has been described above.
Our highly capable aircraft can function to satisfy customer’s requests. Draken also has the ability to upgrade our fleet to meet specific demands.
Draken is also able to deploy its fleet in the global arena and able to work in international airspace. Our pilots have the operational experience in all global arenas. Please contact Draken directly for further information on international opportunities.
Through Draken’s operating partner in the South of France, Secapem flies Aermacchi MB-339’s and A-4 Skyhawks for aggressor and ship defences for the French Navy.
Classified Support for Navy F-18E/F Hornets and Surface Ship Training
Mission Type: Ship Services
Draken International’s performance include aggressor operations in support of the US Navy Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9). The task orders, some of which are classified, involved A-4 Skyhawk aircraft engaged in training exercises against Navy F-18E/F Hornets and surface ships while carrying EA/EW pods. This includes a variety of R&D training exercises for Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar development.
Test Pilot Schools
Mission Type: Test Pilot Training
Draken currently supports the National Test Pilot School, International Test Pilot School, US Air Force Test Pilot School and the US Naval Test Pilot School with our fleet of dual seat MB-339's, TA-4K and L-39's. Our fleet of dual seat jets and instructors provide an ideal platform for the test pilot schools to train domestic and international pilots.