Aerial Warfare

Top Aces Empowers A-4N Skyhawk with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) Capability

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Top Aces Empowers A-4N Skyhawk with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) Capability

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Top Aces Empowers A-4N Skyhawk with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) Capability
Top Aces Empowers A-4N Skyhawk with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) Capability

Top Ace has achieved a significant milestone by integrating an Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) capability onto its A-4 Skyhawk platform through the innovative Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS). Developed over four years of rigorous research and development by Top Aces engineers and technicians in Montreal, Quebec, and Mesa, Arizona, the AAMS offers groundbreaking capabilities reshaping air-to-air combat simulations. This cutting-edge technology empowers aircraft to emulate the advanced tactics of modern adversaries while extending the lifespan of customers’ fleets and delivering substantial cost savings. The modular design of AAMS facilitates seamless integration of new sensors, ensuring adaptability to evolving operational requirements for years to come.

Leveraging an open system architecture, AAMS enables rapid integration of a range of advanced sensors and functionalities, including Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) air-to-air radar, Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (HMCS), tactical datalink communications, and more. The initial deployment of AAMS was on Top Aces’ A-4N Skyhawk, currently operational with the German Armed Forces and other European clients. Furthermore, the system has been successfully installed on Top Aces’ F-16 aircraft, with the maiden test flight conducted in January 2022. Plans are underway to equip the majority of Top Aces’ global fleet, including 29 F-16 aircraft, with this groundbreaking technology in 2022.

Top Aces has successfully integrated an Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) capability onto A-4 Skyhawk.
Top Aces has successfully integrated an Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) capability onto A-4 Skyhawk. (Photo by ÉTop Aces)

With the integration of AAMS, Top Aces’ A-4N Skyhawk achieves unparalleled field performance, providing the most realistic adversary representation in the industry. As a privately owned company and the exclusive adversary air provider to the Canadian and German armed forces, Top Aces prides itself on its team of highly skilled personnel, including over 40 fighter pilots from various armed forces, 80% of whom are Top Gun Fighter Weapons School graduates. Many veterans are among their ranks, contributing to the company’s commitment to excellence and operational airworthiness standards. The integration of the Advanced Aggressor Mission System marks a significant advancement in adversary air capabilities, solidifying Top Aces’ position as a leader in the defense industry.

Top Aces Inc. is a Montreal, Quebec-based defence contractor that offers contracted airborne training services to the Canadian Armed Forces, Bundeswehr, and United States Air Force. Operating a fleet of modernized fighter aircraft, flown by highly experienced ex-military pilots, they provide Red Air threat replication, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training, practice munitions drop, air-to-air gunnery training and naval target tow profiles. Some Alpha Jets retained the German Air Force paint schemes, and the F-16s retained their Israeli Air Force paint schemes. The remaining Alpha Jets and A-4s have been repainted in aggressor camouflage colours that mimic certain foreign aircraft. Small low visibility Canadian flags have been added to the vertical tail stabilizers of aircraft contracted to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Top Aces Empowers A-4N Skyhawk with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) Capability
Top Aces Mcdonnell Douglas A-4N Skyhawk single-seat subsonic carrier-capable light attack aircraft. (Photo by Éric Desbien/Top Aces)

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