About Me

My photo
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

26 February 2015

IDEX 2015: Discovery Air Defence Services changes the face of airborne combat training

Canadian company Discovery Air Defence Services (DADS) is about to expand its air training capabilities by introducing the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon 4th generation fighter, it has emerged. Speaking to MT, Discovery Air's president Paul Bouchard said up to 24 F-16s might be procured through a FMS deal. Asked about where the aircraft come from, he declined to tell about the former operator of the aircraft but acknowledged that they are foreign airframes, not former US aircraft coming out of desert storage. "We are the first to operate F-16s as contract air" he said. The first aircraft would enter service in mid 2015, Bouchard continued. Sources indicate Discovery Air has struck a deal with Israel for acquiring these Block 15 F-16A aircraft.

Bouchard made clear the company is aiming to have a presence in all friendly regions, including the Middle East. Discovery Air has been supporting the Canadian military with aerial services for many years operating former German air force Alpha Jet training aircraft where they operate embedded with their military counterparts. The company started operating for the German armed forces in January this year with a total of seven A-4 Skyhawk aircraft under a contract that will last five years. With only limited numbers of 5th generation combat aircraft entering service with European air forces, Bouchard is currently also targeting other European nations which would need credible red air to train their new F-35As against. One of the countries DADS is looking at is the Netherlands while other potential customers would be Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Denmark, it appears. Discovery Air's F-16 training solution would bring a supersonic, highly maneuverable fighter with radar, radar warning receivers and EW which would be cheaper to operate, allowing nations to focus on other priorities with their Lockheed Martin F-35s. Employing skilled, former military fighter pilots and aggressor specialists, Discovery Air would also bring high off-boresight missile and helmet mounted cueing system capabilities into air combat training.

DADS also routinely supports the highly realistic Red Flag exercises held at Nellis AFB in the United States during which full strike packages are put to the test against ground and air threats. In addition, it offers a military flight training programme operating so called Alpha Jet NG jet aircraft and Grob 120TP turboprop trainers. Providing two engine safety, the upgraded Alpha Jet features an Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 and has a Martin-Baker Mk-10L escape system. The overall curriculum would encompass 267 flight hours, 120 of which are done on the Alpha Jet. An English language course is part of the curriculum which also features extensive training by means of simulation assets.
Pieter Bastiaans

No comments:

Post a Comment