Draken deploys L-159 aircraft to provide direct adversary support to USAF


Draken International has deployed 11 L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (ALCA) to Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada, US, as part of a US Air Force Adversary Air (ADAIR) contract.

The deployed aircraft will provide direct adversary support to the USAF, addressing an ADAIR deficit crisis that requires immediate attention to safeguard the invaluable training of weapons instructors and troops.

Equipped with GRIFO radar simulating advanced threat aircraft and missiles, the L-159 aircraft join 13 A-4 Skyhawks that Draken is already operating in support of this contract.

Draken International Business Development vice-president Sean Gustafson said: “The aircraft has exceeded all expectations with exceptional reliability and remarkable radar performance.”

The company has been providing the USAF with commercial adversary support at Nellis since December 2015.

"The aircraft has exceeded all expectations with exceptional reliability and remarkable radar performance."

To date, Draken flew more than 2,600 sorties and recorded more than 4,000 flight hours in support of the base.

USAF started providing training against the L-159s in late April with adversary missions supporting the 16th Weapons Squadron (F-16/F-35), 17th Weapons Squadron (F-15E), and the 433rd Weapons Squadron (F-15C/F-22), 57th Wing, Nellis AFB.

Draken will continue to accept the delivery of several new L-159s every month, resulting in a total L-159 fleet size of 21 aircraft by the end of this year.

Draken also plans to increase sortie production at Nellis to provide support for the Air Force Weapons School, Red Flag exercises, and the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron.

The company has said that its services have saved the USAF more than $150m to date.