Canadian adversary air training provider Top Aces has completed the initial test flight of its F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (F-16 AAF) equipped with the company’s Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS).
This technology enables all Top Aces aircraft to replicate the advanced capabilities of contemporary air-to-air combat opponents.
With the completion of the first test flight, the F-16 AAF will now execute a series of operational test activities in preparation for its entry into service with the United States Air Force.
Back in May 2021, Top Aces became the first private company in the world to secure a Federal Aviation Administration approval to operate a fourth-generation fighter aircraft under a commercial license. The company obtained the certification after receiving the first four F-16 aircraft from the Israeli Air Force in January of the same year.
Overall, Top Aces will operate 26 F-16 aircraft bought second-hand from Israel to enhance its fleet and support the adversary air support contract with the US Air Force (USAF).
Thank to the integration of AAMS, the F-16s will allow the rapid integration of sensors and functions that a customer wishes to use to improve their air combat readiness.
According to the company, the system is currently fielded with active electronically scanned array (AESA) air-to-air radars, helmet-mounted cueing systems (HMCS);
Tactical datalink communications, infrared search and track (IRST) systems, and high fidelity weapon simulation for the accurate replication of adversary tactics;
As explained, AAMS represents four years of research and development work by Top Aces engineers and technology partner Coherent Technical Services, Inc. (CTSi). Last year, the AAMS was certified for use on Top Aces’ fleet of A-4N Skyhawks and is currently in service with the German Armed Forces and other European customers for advanced airborne training.
Top Aces said it plans to upgrade the majority of its F-16 fleet with the AAMS technology within the next year.
“When you combine the power and avionics of the F-16 with the AAMS, it provides the most realistic and cost-effective training solution available to pilots flying fifth-generation fighters, such as the F-22 or F-35”, says Russ Quinn, president, Top Aces Corp.
“Due to the plug-and-play nature of our AAMS, it also allows for the addition of new and emerging sensors well into the future, which provides the flexibility to upgrade our F-16s and meet the needs of the Air Force for years to come,” Quinn added.