Top Aces Notches New Training Contract With German Air Force


Canadian-based Top Aces has announced a new contract with the German armed forces to provide adversary air training services. Top Aces has been serving in that role with Germany for the past six years and will invest in new technology capabilities for its A-4N Skyhawk and F-16. Now the exclusive provider of adversary air services to German and Canadian armed forces, privately owned Top Aces was founded in 2000 by a group of former fighter pilots. Of the current staff, 80 percent of the pilots flying against clients’ air forces are graduates of the U.S. Navy Top Gun Fighter Weapons School. The company employs 270, overall, and will be expanding its German footprint at Wittmundhafen Air Base with 20 more “highly skilled employment opportunities,” according to Rolf Brandt, senior program manager of German operations. Wittmundhafen is home to the Eurofighter Typhoon-equipped Tactical Wing 71 of the German air force.

Top Aces provides advanced adversary (Red Air), air-defense and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training services around the world. The adversarial training is designed to provide air combat forces with a realistic operational environment at lower cost than using their own equipment. Using a third-party aggressor force saves money by prolonging Top Aces’ clients’ fleet life.

Top Aces R&D has developed a proprietary Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS) that uses advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Infrared Search-and-Track (IRST) systems on a variety of aircraft types. The AAMS is a new technology that simulates the most advanced capabilities of modern-day opponents in air-to-air combat. Flight testing and certification of the AAMS on Top Aces’ A-4N Skyhawk have been completed, so the company is set to launch AAMS training missions in Germany and to demonstrate this capability to potential customers in North America and Europe. 

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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