AEC Skyline awarded United States Air Force Europe JTAC CAS contract
Thursday 11 February 2021
Operating out of Zweibrücken airport in Germany under a permit issued by German authorities, AEC Skyline’s fleet of upgraded Aero L39 jet trainers has now commenced supporting Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Close Air Support (CAS) training on behalf of the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE). The initial 11 February mission saw one of our L39s supporting training in the US military’s Baumholder training area.
Flying under a contract that could extend to 30 September 2025, our L39s carry a L3Harris Wescam MX-15D EO/IR sensor pod equipped with laser spot tracker as well as night vision devices, IR pointers and UHF, VHF radios to enable both day and night CAS tactical employment capability. Our digital duplex datalink, operating in the L, S, C and Ku frequency bands, provides full support for full motion video and Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) training.
High end training support
Adhering to internationally agreed JTAC standards, performance includes flying up to 320 flying hours per year with a maximum of 12 hours per day. Units being supported are the Warrior Preparation Center’s 4th Combat Training Squadron as well as the 4th Air Support Operations Group and subordinate units with training being performed in primary training areas in Germany and in other European countries if required. Regardless of any repositioning of forces allocated to United States European Command (USEUCOM), AEC Skyline stays committed to providing full, high end training support, hereby ensuring the continuation of training aimed at integrating air combat power and surface fires.
Capable of speeds in excess of 300 knots indicated air speed, sustaining with ease the 4Gs required under the contract, our L39s have the capability to perform tactical manoeuvring to achieve up to 30 degree deliveries that include simulated ordnance release. A time on station in excess of 40 minutes is guaranteed with our aircraft being capable of operating at altitudes well in excess of 10,000 feet MSL, coping with high density altitude environments as well. Now recognised by the USAFE, AEC Skyline’s L39 aircraft are capable of supporting realistic air-to-ground training operations, performing flight manoeuvers that simulate those of modern fighter/attack aircraft, however at much lower cost.