Draken International

Draken International, LLC is an American provider of tactical fighter aircraft for contract air services including military and defense industry customers. The firm is based at the Lakeland Linder International Airport in Lakeland, Florida and also has an operating base at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Draken International, LLC
FoundedFlorida, USA, 2012 (2012)
FounderJared Isaacman
HeadquartersLakeland, Florida, USA
Area served
United States
Key people
Joe Ford, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Bill "Sweet" Tart, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
ServicesContract air services to the armed forces, including airborne adversary support, flight training, threat simulation, electronic warfare support, aerial refueling, research and testing
Draken International team at Lakeland, Florida headquarters.
Aero L-159E aircraft operated by Draken International
Atlas Cheetah

Draken offers airborne adversary support (Red Air), Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), Close Air Support (CAS), flight training, threat simulation, electronic warfare support, aerial refueling, research, and testing services to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. defense contractors and aerospace firms, provided by a fleet of former military aircraft. The company CEO is Joe Ford.[1]


In March 2018, the company announced a $6.7 million expansion of its headquarters and repair infrastructure at Lakeland Linder International Airport.[1]

On June 1, 2018, the Pentagon announced that the Air Force had awarded Draken a $280 million contract to continue providing training services for the 57th Adversary Tactics Group at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, as well as Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Hill Air Force Base in Utah.[2]

In November 2018, the Air National Guard (ANG) awarded Draken a five-year contract to provide red air services to support key combat readiness training exercises throughout the United States.[3]

Draken provides Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training and Close Air Support (CAS) for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS Yuma and United States Navy's (USN) Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon.[4]

Draken was one of seven companies awarded an IDIQ contract to support the USAF's Combat Air Force Contract Air Support (CAF CAS) program in October 2019.[5]


An A-4 Skyhawk and a Mig-21 on display in front of company headquarters.

With some 70 jets, the company operates the largest fleet of privately owned former military tactical jet aircraft in the world. The company's fleet includes:[6]

Draken has recently imported the first of up to 25 former Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) Mirage F1CJ, DJ and EJ aircraft.[12]


The company's pilots are a combination of US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps tactical jet pilots who are retired from those services or who continue to serve part-time in the reserve components of those services, including the Air National Guard. Their backgrounds include USAF Weapons School Graduates and Instructors, USN Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Graduates and Instructors, USAF Aggressor Pilots, USN/USMC Adversary Pilots, USAF Air Liaison Officers, former USAF Thunderbirds demonstration pilots and USAF/USN/USMC Forward Air Controller - Airborne (FAC-A) Instructors, with some of the more senior pilots having previously served as commanders (USAF) and commanding officers (USN/USMC) of operational squadrons, groups and wings while on active duty.[13]

Activities outside the U.S.Edit

Draken International and Secapem, a French manufacturer of towed aerial gunnery banner, have created a joint venture called SDTS utilising a number of A-4N Skyhawk aircraft.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b http://www.drakenintl.com/profile/executive-team
  2. ^ "Contracts for June 1, 2018". U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  3. ^ "173rd Fighter Wing expands training with contract adversary air". 173rd Fighter Wing. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  4. ^ "Draken International Awarded USMC Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) Contract | Draken International". www.drakenintl.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  5. ^ Donald, David. "U.S. Air Force Awards $6.4 Billion of Adversary Contracts". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  6. ^ Tegler, Jan (July 22, 2013). "Draken International Commercial Air Services". Defence Media Network. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  7. ^ "Aircraft Inventory - Draken International". drakenintl.com. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Draken International acquires ex Kiwi Skyhawks". australianaviation.com.au. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Government sells L-159 subsonics". Ministry of Defence & Armed forces of the Czech Republic. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  10. ^ "Aircraft Inventory | Draken International". www.drakenintl.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  11. ^ "Aircraft Inventory | Draken International". www.drakenintl.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  12. ^ Staff, Blog Before Flight. "Draken International receives first former Royal Jordanian Air Force Mirage F1". Blog Before Flight - Aerospace and Defense News. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  13. ^ "Capt. Dale Snodgrass USN (Ret.), Chief Pilot / Deployed Operations | Draken International". Drakenintl.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  14. ^ "SDTS". SECAPEM.

External linksEdit