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Top Aces Completes First Flight of its F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter

source: Kyler Noe (CNW Group/Top Aces)

Top Aces has completed the initial test flight of its F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (F-16 AAF) equipped with its proprietary Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS). This sophisticated technology enables Top Aces’ aircraft to replicate the most advanced capabilities of contemporary air-to-air combat opponents. With the completion of the first test flight, the F-16 AAF will now execute a series of robust operational test activities in preparation for its entry into service with the United States Air Force.

Powered by an open system architecture, AAMS permits the rapid integration of sensors and functions that a customer wishes to use to improve their air combat readiness. For example, today the system is fielded with:

• Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) air-to-air radar;

• Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (HMCS);

• Tactical datalink communications between aircraft and other entities;

• Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems;

• High Fidelity Weapon Simulation allowing accurate replication of adversary tactics;

• Advanced Electronic Attack pod employment and passive RF detection capabilities; and

• An array of tactical functions coordinating the above systems to provide a spectrum of realistic adversary effects.

The AAMS represents four years of research and development work by Top Aces engineers and technology partner Coherent Technical Services, Inc. (CTSi) of Lexington Park, MD. Last year, the AAMS was certified for use on Top Aces’ fleet of A-4N Skyhawks and is currently in service with the German Armed Forces and other European customers for advanced airborne training. Now this same federated mission system has been installed on Top Aces’ F-16A aircraft by M7 Aerospace of San Antonio, TX, an Elbit Systems of America company experienced in aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO).

Top Aces plans to upgrade the majority of its F-16 fleet with the ground-breaking AAMS technology within the next year.

“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.

“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,” adds Mr. Quinn.

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