Aerial Warfare

Top Aces Conducts First Adversary Air Training Mission with Upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada

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Top Aces Conducts First Adversary Air Training Mission with Upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada

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Top Aces Conducts First Adversary Air Training Mission with Upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada
Top Aces Conducts First Adversary Air Training Mission with Upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada

Top Aces, the world’s leading provider of advanced adversary air (ADAIR) and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training to allied forces, proudly announces the successful completion of its first training mission in Canada with the A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF). This event marks the start of AAF service delivery, which was stipulated in an amendment to Top Aces’ Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) contract, as announced by the Government of Canada in December 2023. Renowned for innovation and collaborative efforts with customers to evolve its service offering, Top Aces has been the trusted training partner to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) since 2005. The first two A-4 AAFs arrived in Canada in late May, complementing the company’s existing Canadian aggressor fleet of Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets and Bombardier Learjet 35s.

James “Preston” Manning, Vice-President – Canada, Top Aces Inc., concludes: “Canada’s forward-thinking approach to the CATS program has prompted Air Forces worldwide to follow suit. Especially as allied counterparts shift towards 5th Generation fleets, they increasingly acknowledge this industry’s importance for operational efficiency, extending fleet lifespan, and supporting the continued service of veterans.”

“Service is the value that leads our organization. As a proud home-grown Canadian company, Top Aces is committed to providing the CAF with cutting-edge training solutions to ensure our servicemen and women are fully prepared for any mission their country entrusts to them,” said Paul Bouchard, CEO of Top Aces.

 A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF) Skyhawk
Top Aces A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF) Skyhawk. (Photo by Top Aces)

Each A-4 AAF aircraft is equipped with Top Aces’ proprietary, open architecture ‘Advanced Aggressor Mission System’ (AAMS), an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, and tactical datalink capabilities. The AAF configuration can replicate the advanced systems of a near-peer, threat aircraft. This week’s first mission featured an A-4 AAF along with a formation of Alpha Jets, conducting air-combat training in support of RCAF CF-18 pilots based out of 4-Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. In addition to improving training for CF-18 aircrew, the introduction of A-4 AAF aircraft allows the RCAF to refocus internal resources on higher value training activities, particularly as they prepare for the F-35 transition.

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. Top Aces provides advanced adversary air (ADAIR) and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) technology and training to the world’s leading armed forces. The mission-critical training offered by Top Aces enhances the operational readiness of combat forces by delivering real-world experience while creating significant cost efficiencies and extending the lifecycle of military aircraft fleets.

 A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF) Skyhawk
Top Aces A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF) Skyhawk. (Photo by Top Aces)

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