Civ Honeybadger Draken (1)

Aero Vodochody L-159E Honey Badger

First flying in 1997, the L-159A Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) is a single-engine subsonic combat aircraft which was developed from the L-59 Super Albatross trainer. Locally developed in the Czech Republic by Aero Vodochody as a domestic low cost fighter to replace a number of Soviet-era types in Air Force service, namely the MiG-23BN, Su-22 and Su-25. A two-seat trainer version designated as the L-159B was also developed, this was later developed into the L-159T1 for Iraq. The L-159 has not been an export success and has only been ordered by the Czech Republic and Iraq. A number of L-159s which were placed in storage by the Czech Air Force have been sold to private military contractors to provide aggressor air services as the L-159E. This includes to Draken International who use a fleet of L-159Es based at Teesside airport to provide aggressor air services to the RAF. Draken calls the L-159E the Honey Badger.

Draken International previously operated the L-159E as part of a contract from Nellis AFB on the outskirts of Las Vegas. However, early in 2022 the company won a six-year contract to provide aggressor training for the RAF, replacing the Hawks of 100 squadron. The L-159E was chosen to provide this service and a number were ferried to the UK and are now based at Teeside Airport. The L-159E provides a more advanced threat compared to the Hawk due to being fitted with a modern Radar and Radar Warning system.

Draken will be debuting one of their L-159E Honey Badgers on static display at this year's Air Tattoo.

Photo Credit: Draken

On display