Press Release

Aero and Draken enter into a long-term cooperation agreement for the Draken fleet of L-159 aircraft

Vodochody, December 8, 2023 – Aero, a traditional Czech aircraft manufacturer, and Draken, a company specializing in adversary air training services in Europe and the US have signed an agreement, setting up the strategic framework for a long-term cooperation centered around the L-159 aircraft. The companies will, among other elements, develop and implement a dedicated aircraft maintenance and support program for the Draken fleet of L-159s, used in the training of frontline pilots of the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force.

Through this complex contract, Aero will build up the capability and authorize Draken to carry out depot-level inspection and maintenance procedures of its fleet of Aero L-159 aircraft at the Draken Europe premises in the UK.” Said Filip Kulštrunk, Aero`s executive vice president & Chief Commercial Officer, and adds: “We have also agreed key principles of strategic cooperation with Draken, through which we will ensure that the aircraft operated by Draken are used to their full potential until their end-of-life service date, which is expected in 2045.”

Draken operates a total of 23 “Alcas” as aggressor aircraft, providing training services for elite jet fighter pilots of the US, UK and other NATO Air Forces. At its facilities in the UK, eight Aero L-159s operate, alongside the Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft, providing complex operational readiness training, which includes adversarial support and electronic attack training.

“The Aero L-159s are a key component of our fleet, flying sorties daily in an aggressor role against Royal Air Force F-35s, Eurofighter Typhoons, and other platforms.” describes Richard Stoate, Draken’s Vice President Commercial and Supply Chain, “Through close cooperation with Aero, we will continue to meet the aircraft safety, performance and availability requirements set by our current and future customers.”

The L-159s are a formidable aggressor platform, with excellent flight characteristics, powerful radar and modern avionic systems. In addition to aggressor training, the L-159s are highly suitable for the performance of light combat missions, as well as advanced training of 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft pilots.

“This contract is a testament to Aero’s flexibility and ability to develop complex industrial cooperation programs, including transfer of knowhow and capability in the area of long-term aircraft maintenance and support. We look forward to this newly established cooperation with Draken.” adds Filip Kulštrunk.

With this contract, Aero has now secured comprehensive support contracts with all users of L-159 aircraft and is looking at offering the same concept with the newest platform, the L-39NG.

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the development, production, maintenance, and modernization of civil and military aircraft and is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aircraft manufacturers in the world. In the field of its own aircraft, Aero is a permanent partner of a number of military air forces and has a strong position in the market for military trainers and light combat aircraft. With 11,000 aircraft produced in its 100 years of existence, hundreds of L-39 Albatros aircraft still in service with dozens of military operators and a number of demo teams, and especially with its new L-39NG aircraft, Aero has established itself as a leader in the global jet trainer market. In the civil aviation sector, Aero works with major aircraft manufacturers on a wide range of projects and is a partner in several risk-sharing programs, where it is responsible not only for the manufacture and assembly of aircraft assemblies but also for their development.


Radka Černá, PR & Communications Manager

e-mail: radka.cerna@aero

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