Air Platforms

ATAC receives final refurbished Mirage fighters

02 April 2019

Seen in the service of its former French Air Force owner, the Mirage F1 has been adopted by ATAC as a Red Air trainer platform. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), a US tactical air training, threat simulation, and R&D provider, has received all 63 Mirage F1 combat aircraft it purchased from France in 2017 following an extensive refurbishment and upgrade effort, it announced on 2 April.

The fleet is now fully operational with the completion of the work that has taken place at the company’s Adversary Center of Excellence (ACE) facility at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas.

As noted by Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft , Textron retrofitted around 45 of the F1s with modern avionics systems such as digital radio-frequency memory-jamming capabilities and upgraded radars. ATAC plans to use the Mirages for the US Air Force (USAF) Adversary Air (ADAIR) requirement, which requires almost 150 aircraft to fulfil the service's Red Air training needs.

With its newly acquired Mirages, ATAC fields a fast jet fleet that also comprises the Hawker Hunter, IAI F-21 Kfir, and Aero Vodochody L-39ZA.

ATAC is one of several companies offering contracted air services to governments as they look to maintain training levels and standards while reducing stress and demands on their own aircraft fleets. This contractor-owned contractor-operated (COCO) model is becoming increasingly popular as operators look to reduce the wear and tear on their capital assets; to alleviate their pilot shortfalls; and to keep their operational aircraft on the frontline.

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