Military Aviation

Paramaount Aerospace to refurbish Draken’s 22 ex-Spanish Air Force Mirage F1M aircraft

Paramount Aerospace Systems had previously carried out the modernization of the Mirage F1M while still in Spanish Air Force military service

The 22 ex-Spanish Air Force Mirage F1M aircraft bought by Draken International will be refurbished by Paramount Aerospace Systems, the company announced on Apr. 9.

Paramount Aerospace Systems had previously carried out the modernization of the Mirage F1M while still in Spanish Air Force military service. This round, work will be performed at Draken’s Lakeland, FL maintenance facility.

Draken acquired 22 Mirage F1M and F1B fighter jets in an effort to enhance adversary services for U.S. Department of Defense and allied nation customers. These fighters were retired in February 2013 and stored in Albacete Air Base, Spain but being sold to Draken in September this year. According the company, these jets are the best equipped and lowest time fighters of their kind available to the industry. In 1996 in fact, the Spanish Air Force, along with Thomson-CSF (Thales Group), spent $96M on a modernization upgrade, including cockpit enhancements, LCD MFDs, Advanced HUD, INS/GPS, Electronic Attack systems and a special performance upgrade for the Cyrano IVM radar.

This acquisition along with the most recent purchase of twelve supersonic radar equipped South African Cheetah fighter jets increased Draken’s fleet size to over 150 fighter aircraft.

“We are looking forward to working with one of the few companies in the world that possesses the extensive depth of F1 experience and knowledge that Paramount brings to the table. We are especially confident given Paramount’s experience modernizing the same Mirage F1M jets we now own when they were in prior Spanish Air Force service,” said Jared Isaacman, CEO of Draken International to prweb.com. Draken’s core competency is its ability to acquire, regenerate, modernize and operate affordable, supportable, credible and capable fighter aircraft.

Noteworthy as we have previously explained, Paramount Group acquired the entire South African Mirage F1 fleet, along with spares, simulators, training aids and other related material. The Mirage F1 represents an ideal solution for low cost Super Sonic Fighter capability, and Paramount offers a complete air-power package, with full training and technical support for the aircraft. Paramount also operates a fighter aircraft pilot training Academy in South Africa, the only one of its kind on the African continent.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Group Chairman of Paramount Group said, “We are extremely excited by the partnership with Draken International and the establishment of long-term relationships in support of the U.S. Air Force. There are very strong synergies between our organizations in meeting the ever-increasing demand for the effective utilization of legacy aircraft in adversary training. Our collaboration with Draken underlines the importance of strategic partnerships for providing flexible, scalable and affordable solutions for the US Air Force.”

Photo credit: Draken International and KGyST via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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