First contractor-owned F-16s cleared to begin Aggressor training

by Gareth Jennings

The first privately owned Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft have been cleared to provide ‘Red Air’ Aggressor training.

Top Aces’ F-16 aircraft have now been certified by the FAA to commence adversary air training. (Top Aces)

Top Aces’ F-16 aircraft have now been certified by the FAA to commence adversary air training. (Top Aces)

Top Aces Corporation announced on 19 May that the surplus F-16s it recently received from Israel have now been certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Top Aces took delivery of its first four F-16s in January, becoming the first private company in the world to own and operate a fourth-generation fighter aircraft,” the Canadian-based contractor said. “Top Aces’ highly skilled in-house maintenance team then returned the aircraft to full operational and airworthy status at its F-16 Center of Excellence in Mesa, Arizona. This week marks a historic achievement as Top Aces’ first F-16 obtained FAA certification and successfully performed its initial test flight.”

Top Aces received the first of 29 F-16A/B ‘Netz’ jets in January, noting that the aircraft will be flown out of the company’s Mesa base in support of US Department of Defense (DoD) adversary air training.

“A fundamental step in preparing Top Aces’ F-16 fleet to serve the US Air Force (USAF) is the integration of Top Aces’ open architecture Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS), which will provide the most advanced adversary capability in the industry,” the company said. “This proprietary system features the latest technologies including active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, infrared search-and-track (IRST), advanced data link, and helmet-mounted cueing systems.”

Top Aces previously told Janes

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The first privately owned Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft have been cleared to ...

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