Leonardo partnered with Draken International last year for a trial run on a new support contract business model dubbed ‘always available.’
The two companies worked together as Draken delivered on an of adversary training contract for the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons and Tactics School at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
Part of the USAF training involves simulated combat against real jet fighters, in this case flown by Draken, while Leonardo supports the Grifo radars on-board these jets. Because Draken is a service-based contractor paid for flying by the hour, it needs all the radars to work all the time; i.e. ‘always available’. Downtime on repairs means the Draken pilots can’t fly.
During training with the USAF the radars are flown at a wartime rate, meaning they are heavily used over a sustained period of time. This consistently heavy usage requires high-performance support provision to keep the radars flying.
Leonardo’s new model uses the company’s support, logistics and technology expertise to ensure all assets are available whenever they are needed, a push to decrease downtime. Traditional support contracts provide a certain level of availability where military end users expect gaps for repairs. The company expects its new model to be a hit with service companies who are paid by-the-hour.
Underpinning this support capability is Leonardo’s radar technology. The company has sold over 450 Grifo radars that together have notched up more than 150,000 flight hours with the air forces of five different countries and one commercial service provider, Draken International, which uses the radars to provide critical air-to-air combat training to the US Department of Defense.