Top Aces training with A-4 Skyhawks in Canada

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Top Aces, a prominent provider of advanced adversary air (ADAIR) and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training to allied forces, has completed its inaugural training mission in Canada using the A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF). This milestone follows an amendment to Top Aces’ Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) contract, announced by the Government of Canada in December 2023.

Top Aces has been a trusted training partner to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) since 2005. The arrival of the first two A-4 AAFs in late May expands the company’s Canadian aggressor fleet, which already includes Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets and Bombardier Learjet 35s.

The A-4 AAFs are equipped with Top Aces’ proprietary Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, and tactical datalink capabilities, enabling them to simulate advanced near-peer threat aircraft systems.
This week’s initial mission featured an A-4 AAF alongside Alpha Jets, providing air combat training for RCAF CF-18 pilots at 4-Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. The addition of the A-4 AAF enhances CF-18 aircrew training and allows the RCAF to allocate resources to higher-value training activities as they prepare for the F-35 transition.

Paul Bouchard, CEO of Top Aces, stated: “Service is the value that leads our organization. As a proud home-grown Canadian company, Top Aces is committed to providing the CAF with cutting-edge training solutions to ensure our servicemen and women are fully prepared for any mission their country entrusts to them.”

James “Preston” Manning, Vice-President – Canada, Top Aces Inc., added, “Canada's forward-thinking approach to the CATS program has prompted Air Forces worldwide to follow suit. As allied counterparts transition to 5th Generation fleets, they increasingly recognize the importance of this industry for operational efficiency, fleet lifespan extension, and veteran support.”

Top Aces continues to enhance the operational readiness of combat forces by providing realistic training experiences, thereby creating cost efficiencies and extending the lifecycle of military fleets.