Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.
Jared "Rook" Isaacman, CEO Draken International. Note that "Rook" also owns JDI Holdings.
Six former RNZAF A-4K Skyhawks.
BuNo 157904 NZ6212 (Draken N142EM)
BuNo 154905 NZ6213 (N143EM)
BuNo 154908 NZ6214 (N144EM)
BuNo 155052 NZ6215 (N145EM)
BuNo 155063 NZ6217 (N146EM)
BuNo 155069 NZ6218 (N147EM)
Two former RNZAF TA-4K Skyhawks.
BuNo 157914 NZ6251 (N140EM)
BuNo 157915 NZ6252 (N141EM)
Douglas A-4L Skyhawk: Three leased from A-4L LLC.
Douglas A-4L Skyhawk: One A-4L under long term rebuild at Houston Ellington Field , held by JDI Holdings.
Douglas A-4C Skyhawk: Two A-4C at Marana, AZ. Held by JDI Holdings, with no current plans to restore them.
12 DEC 2014: Draken buys six A4-N Skyhawks from BAE Systems and flies them to U.S.A. from Germany.
BAE N432FS = BuNo 159542 IDF-432. N432FS while with BAE Systems, this image in Italy.
BAE N434FS = BuNo 159815 IDF-373
BAE N437FS = BuNo 159078 IDF-355
BAE N262WL = BuNo 159545 IDF-444 (former ATSI Aircraft)
BAE N268WL = BuNo 159530 IDF-395 (former ATSI Aircraft)
N269WL, one of the ATSI A-4Ns on lease to AVDEF, based at Nimes in Southern France. BuNo 159536, is now registered F-ZVMD. They are supposed to be getting a second A-4 from ATSI.
Lakeland FL. (KLAL)
15 NOV 2011: New Zealand's Defence Minister has announced that a United States company, JDI Holdings, is going to buy eight Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) retired A-4K/TA-4K Skyhawks.
Winter 2012: RNZAF deal completed with JDI Holdings. These aircraft will flown by Draken International, INC.
Spring 2012: Commenced the lease of three A-4L from "A-4L LLC".
01 AUG 2012:
Press Release on Draken’s NZ Skyhawk acquisition:
Draken International Purchases Eight McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawks LAKELAND, FL (July, 2012) - Draken International has signed an agreement with the New Zealand government to purchase eight (8) 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 (CAS) 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 6 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 US State Department and expects to have the aircraft operational by the first quarter of 2013.
Press Release on Draken’s NZ Aemacchi acquisition:
Draken International Purchases Aermacchi MB-339 Aircraft Fleet from New Zealand Government LAKELAND, FL (July 30th, 2012) – Draken International has been selected as the winning bidder for nine (9) Aermacchi MB-339 tactical jet trainer aircraft from the New Zealand government. The MB-339 aircraft are very low time and have been exceptionally well maintained. This acquisition complements the company’s already expansive and highly capable fleet of fighter aircraft, with capabilities in all mission sets including air to air and air to ground. These nine Aermacchi MB-339s feature dual, front and rear seat Heads-Up Displays (HUD), Multi-Function Displays (MFD), the NATO Standard 1553 data bus and an F-16-style Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) system. The MB-339 is specifically designed to excel in the Close Air Support (CAS), Forward Air Controller - Airborne (FAC-A) and training Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) roles. The aircraft are equipped with seven weapon station hardpoints to provide the capability to handle air-to-ground training munitions and integration with the latest generation of targeting pods. Draken International CEO Jared Isaacman states, “Draken is committed to building the most capable fleet of aircraft for our contract air services clients and this acquisition helps further our already robust capabilities. We are also very pleased to continue our long-standing positive relationship with the New Zealand government with this transaction.” This acquisition also includes an extensive inventory of spare parts, spare engines, avionics, nav/attack systems, publications and life support systems. Also included is a flight simulator for pilot familiarization and procedural training. Draken has had a team in New Zealand overseeing the disassembly, shipping and logistics operations for the MB-339 fleet for over two months. It is anticipated that the aircraft will be assembled and operational during the 4th quarter 2012.
12 DEC 2014:
Draken International CEO Jared Isaacman states, “The A-4 Skyhawk has proven to be a very capable aircraft and is well-suited for tactical flight support. We are glad to have this opportunity to add these six additional aircraft to our growing fleet. The flight operation involved considerable planning and logistics expertise given the harsh and sometimes unpredictable weather of the North Atlantic. The Draken team did a tremendous job in all aspects of the operation including maintenance, pilots, flight planning, and logistics. This marks the fourth overseas acquisition of fighter aircraft and is highlighted even further by such a safe and successful trans-Atlantic flight operation.”
Draken International maintains the largest privately-owned fleet of tactical jet aircraft in the world with over 80 aircraft, including Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, Aermacchi MB-339s, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s, Aero Vodochody L-39s, and our sophisticated multi-role Aero Vodochody L-159E Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA).
About Draken International
22 JUN 2015: The World’s Largest Private Air Force.
18 August 2016: Leonard "Lenny" Dick, Col., USAF, Retd. ejected from Draken International TA-4K Skyhawk BuNo 1557914 (N140EM) at approxinately 200 feet and an airspeed of 160 knotys indicated. The cause of the crash was foreign object debris from a nonmetallic material inside the engine's main fuel control unit, which restricted fuel flow and subsequently resulted in the loss of power. N140EM crashed NNW of the Nellis AFB near Sloan Lane and Las Vegas Blvd, south of I-15, after an in-flight emergency at the end of a training sortie that had commenced at 0620. According to the pilot, he was the lead of a flight of two, returning to LSV after completion of their task. He led the formation to the overhead pattern and shortly after the break to downwind, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power. The pilot at first initiated a turn towards the airport; however, he realized that he was unable to make the runway and consequently turned left towards a field and then initiated ejection. The airplane subsequently struck terrain and was consumed by fire. The pilot ejected close to the ground and was treated for minor injuries. The ex-RNZAF aircraft was operated by a civil contractor in support of the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, USAF. Exercise Red Flag 16-4 was under way at the time of the accident. Probable Cause: Foreign object debris in the engine's main fuel control unit, which restricted fuel flow and subsequently resulted in the loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the installation or addition of an extra seal during the main fuel control unit rebuild.
Warbirds News by Warbirds Digest.
DEC 2015: Draken N147EM in formation with a F-16 and a F-35 for airborne testing of the F-35.