Thursday, February 29, 2024

U.S. Air Force F-35A fighters staged “hunt” for L-159 aircraft

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation stealth fighters held a real hunt for Draken International’s L-159 Honey Badger multi-role aircraft during the Northern Lightning exercise at Volk Field, Wisconsin.

U.S. Air Force Airmen on its F-35A fighter jets assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing take part in annual Northern Lightning exercise. August’s edition of the exercise is the second iteration of Northern Lightning this year, the first of which occurred in May.

Pilots and air crews participating in Northern Lightning can expect to operate in a contested environment with adversary aircraft, electronic jamming and simulated surface-to-air threats, and such training is critical to building readiness for the threats and missions the nation faces.


Northern Lightning is a tactical level, joint training exercise replicating today’s air battle space with current and future weapons platforms. A variety of the world’s most advanced aircraft including the F-35, F-22, F-16, EA-18, and C-130 will participate in the exercise.

Draken International, the adversary support contractor with the world’s largest private tactical jet air force also take part in the exercise.

Draken supports military training objectives around the globe, providing tremendous cost savings over the use of traditional military fighter assets. As an organization, Draken is uniquely positioned to answer the growing demand for contract air support.

The L-159E Honey Badger is a Boeing and Aero Vodochody designed single-seat, multi-role aircraft capable of supporting a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) are all virtually brand new 4th Generation fighters, which were specifically modified to meet Draken’s demanding performance requirements.

According to Draken’s website, the L-159 Honey Badger features a multi-mode 4th generation Leonardo Grifo-L radar that permits all-weather, day and night operations. The L-159E can also carry a wide range of US and NATO standard ordinance including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser-guided bombs. This aircraft can also carry the LITENING Pod and other specially designed Electronic Attack (EA) pods to satisfy a verity of customer requirements.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



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