Top Aces F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter Makes First Flight


Top Aces Corporation’s F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter first flew on January 19, 2022.

The aircraft was equipped with the company’s proprietary Advanced Aggressor mission system.

This sophisticated technology allows Top Aces aircraft to replicate the most advanced capabilities of contemporary air-to-air combat adversaries. With the completion of the first test flight, the F-16 AAF will now perform a series of robust operational test activities in preparation for entry into service with the US Air Force.

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

  • Active Electronically Scanned Array Air-to-Air Radar (AESA);
  • Helmet Mounted Tracking System (NCSM);
  • Tactical data link communications between aircraft and other entities;
  • infrared search and tracking systems (IRST);
  • High-fidelity weapon simulation allowing accurate reproduction of adversary tactics;
  • Employment of advanced electronic attack modules and passive RF detection capabilities; and
  • A set of tactical functions that coordinate the above systems to provide an array of realistic adverse effects.

The AAMS represents four years of research and development by Top Aces engineers and technology partner Coherent Technical Services, Inc., of Lexington Park, Maryland Last year, the AAMS was certified for use on the fleet of Top Aces of A-4N Skyhawks and is currently in service with the German Armed Forces and other European customers for advanced airborne training. Now, M7 Aerospace of San Antonio, Texas, has installed that same Federated Mission system on F-16A aircraft from Top Aces, an Elbit Systems of America company experienced in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

Top Aces plans to upgrade the majority of its F-16 fleet with revolutionary AAMS technology over the next year.

“When you combine the power and avionics of the F-16 with AAMS, it provides the most realistic and cost-effective training solution available for pilots flying fifth-generation fighters, such as the F-22. or the F-35,” says Russ Quinn, president of Top Aces Corp., a 26-year Air Force 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 in the future, providing the flexibility to upgrade our F-16s and meet the needs of the Air Force for years to come,” Quinn adds.

Top Aces’ F-16 Center of Excellence is based in Mesa, Arizona. The company provides advanced terminal attack controller and advanced adversary training to the world’s major air forces. It has the largest fleet of commercial combat aircraft in active service and is the first company in the world to acquire the supersonic F-16. Top Aces’ critical training enhances the operational readiness of combat forces by providing real-world experience, while creating significant cost savings and extending the life cycle of military fleets.


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