LAKELAND, Fla., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. air services company Draken International is purchasing eight McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawks from New Zealand to boost training capabilities.
"These aircraft represent the final and most capable evolution of the A-4 Skyhawk platform," Draken International Chief Executive Officer Jared Isaacman said.
"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."
The A-4K Skyhawk is a jet-powered attack aircraft. It became operational with U.S. forces in 1956 and has since been retired from U.S. military fleets.
Draken International says it intends to use the aircraft in support of U.S. Defense Department training initiatives.
"The aircraft bring unique capabilities to the contract air services industry, with features such as an APG-66 radar, heads-up-display ... and multi-function display," the company said.
Draken will also operate as many as six "buddy-store" systems that will enable its fleet of aircraft to provide in-house aerial refueling or to provide tanker support to other probe equipped aircraft.
The Skyhawks, it said, be help provide a more realistic training and threat simulation environment for air-to-air, "Red Air," air-to-ground, JTAC/CAS, aerial refueling, research and other missions.
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