Pick up the new issue of Flight International and you’ll find an interesting update on Draken International, following on from the company’s announcement at the Farnborough air show of plans at to add up to 28 Aero Vodochody L-159s to its fleet.
You might never have heard of Draken (a name which has no reference to the Saab fighter of the same name), but since its establishment in 2011 it has amassed an inventory of ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force A-4 Skyhawks and MB339s, surplus L-39s and even MiG-21s, to help provide training for the US military. That, our report says, makes the Florida-based company “the world’s largest private air force”.
Interestingly, Draken’s boss reveals that it is looking at the possibility of establishing a training service in Europe. It’ll be interesting to see whether that comes to anything in the long-run, as we’ve had suggestions of similar moves to provide aggressor training from ECA Program in the past, even up to using an advanced type like the Eurofighter Typhoon.