Draken International has signed an agreement with the New Zealand government to purchase eight McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawks as well as various other equipment and accessories.
This successful transaction marks the end of a great chapter in New Zealand aviation history and the beginning of a great foundation for Draken International.
Draken, recognizing the increasing demand from the defense contracting industry, intends to operate the aircraft in support of Department of Defense training initiatives. The aircraft bring unique capabilities to the Contract Air Services industry, with features such as an APG-66 radar, Heads-up-Display, HOTAS, Multi-Function Display and the NATO standard 1553 bus. Draken will also operate up to six buddy-store systems, enabling the Draken fleet to provide in-house aerial refueling or to provide tanker support to other probe equipped aircraft. Given these capabilities, the aircraft will be able to provide a more realistic training and threat simulation environment for a variety of roles including Air-to-Air, “Red Air,” Air to Ground, JTAC/CAS, aerial refueling, research and other mission sets that demand the latest in aircraft technology.
Draken International CEO Jared Isaacman states, “These aircraft represent the final and most capable evolution of the A-4 Skyhawk platform. We are all very confident in the long- term supportability, advanced avionics capabilities and economic efficiencies these aircraft will bring to the Department of Defense and the overall defense contracting industry.”
In addition to the Douglas A-4K Skyhawks, the transaction includes over 20 spare engines, and an extensive inventory of spare parts, publications, life support equipment and avionics sufficient to power the fleet for decades to come. Also included are two flight simulators for cockpit procedural training and nav/attack system familiarization.
Draken has already received the necessary approval from the U.S. State Department and expects to have the aircraft operational by the first quarter of 2013.