Montreal-based Top Aces Inc. has flown its F-16 Advanced Aggressor (F-16AAF) and embarked on a flight test program aimed at making it a worthy mock adversary for the latest and greatest fighters. The company provides training services to various air forces by pretending to be the enemy in combat training flights. The F-16 platform is designed to test the best that those units have to offer. “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., a 26-year USAF veteran and former Aggressor pilot with more than 3,300 F-16 flight hours.
The company acquired surplus F-16s from the Israeli Air Force and has equipped it with its Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS), which is designed to mimic the aircraft and weapons systems of potential enemies. The company’s pilots are trained in the tactics of those enemies. AAMS is already deployed in the company’s subsonic A-4N Skyhawks and the open architecture of the system makes it adaptable to future technologies as they emerge. “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,” said Quinn.