Leonardo has signed a multi-year support service contract with Draken International, which will ensure that the Grifo-L fire control radar systems installed on Draken’s fleet of 24 L-159E fighter jets are available whenever they are needed. Key to the contract award was Leonardo’s ability to quickly implement a bespoke business model, whereby support is delivered via a repair-and-return cycle backed by the wider Leonardo business.

Image credit: Leonardo

The Grifo-L radars which will be supported are used to deliver ‘Adversary Air’ services at the United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base. Here, the L159E, nicknamed the “Honey Badger”, simulates the role of an ‘enemy’ aircraft. As part of engagements, the Grifo-L radar is used to emulate a credible threat to the 4th and 5th Generation US, Italian, NATO, and other Allied fighter pilots undergoing training. 

The contract is designed to sustain Draken’s flying-by-the-hour business model, which requires the Grifo-L radars to be readily available. To meet this need, Leonardo has developed a tailored, high-performance model which is able to support the ‘wartime rate’ of flying which is required. Leonardo tested the new model under a trial basis with Draken in 2018 where it proved successful.