Private military contractor Draken International will buy up to 28 Aero Vodochody L-159Es from the Czech Republic under a three-way deal.
Under the contract, the manufacturer will acquire the aircraft from the Czech government and sell them on to Draken, which has committed to taking at least 14 aircraft. The L-159s are surplus to air force requirements, and have been in long-term storage.
“This acquisition has been negotiated over the last 18 months and reflects the very finest co-operation between the American and Czech Republic defence industries,” says Draken chief executive Jared Isaacman.
“These aircraft, in addition to Draken’s vast existing fleet, will be at the forefront of the advanced commercial air services industry in the United States and for our allies abroad.”
In addition, Draken has also entered into a comprehensive agreement with Aero Vodochody that will see it become the manufacturer’s marketing and maintenance partner for the Americas. Aero Vodochodoy will also market Draken’s services in Europe.
Draken provides tactical flight support services to the US armed forces using a fleet of L-159s, L-39s, Aermacchi MB-339CBs, Douglas A-4 Skyhawks and RAC MiG-21s.
The company says that some of the L-159s acquired under the latest deal may be delivered to a new facility in Europe, as it seeks to expand its client base to other NATO nations.