12 July 2017 | Air Forces Monthly
Draken’s L-159 ‘Honey Badgers’ on tour
Florida-based Draken International has deployed 11 Aero Vodochody L-159 aircraft to Nellis Air Force Base in support of a US Air Force contract. The contractor now has a total of 24 jets at the Nevada base.
The L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) are at Nellis to provide direct adversary support to the company’s USAF Adversary Air (ADAIR) contract.
According to a July 10 announcement from Draken, the L-159s received a Military Flight Release (MFR) before beginning integration with USAF assets. As well as the ALCAs, Draken operates 13 A-4 Skyhawks at Nellis in support of the same contract.
Draken L-159s began providing Red Air to the US Marine Corps in support of Operation Agile Lightning in January.
USAF training against the L-159s began 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, Nevada.
Sean Gustafson, Vice President of Business Development stated: “The aircraft has exceeded all expectations with exceptional reliability and remarkable radar performance.”
Interestingly, in the same press release, Draken also revealed that company crews call the L-159 the ‘Honey Badger’, a reference to the famously ferocious mustelid.
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