Top Aces conducts first ‘Adversary Air’ training mission with upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada
Top Aces conducts first ‘Adversary Air’ training mission with upgraded A-4 Skyhawks in Canada

Levelling-up Canadian fleet to enhance the combat readiness training of Royal Canadian Air Force pilots

MONTREAL, June 20, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Top Aces, the world’s leading provider of advanced adversary air (ADAIR) and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training to allied forces, proudly announces the successful completion of its first training mission in Canada with the A-4 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (AAF). This event marks the start of AAF service delivery, which was stipulated in an amendment to Top Aces’ Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) contract, as announced by the Government of Canada in December 2023.

Renowned for innovation and collaborative efforts with customers to evolve its service offering, Top Aces has been the trusted training partner to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) since 2005. The first two A-4 AAFs arrived in Canada in late May, complementing the company’s existing Canadian aggressor fleet of Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets and Bombardier Learjet 35s.

Each A-4 AAF aircraft is equipped with Top Aces’ proprietary, open architecture ‘Advanced Aggressor Mission System’ (AAMS), an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, and tactical datalink capabilities. The AAF configuration can replicate the advanced systems of a near-peer, threat aircraft.

This week’s first mission featured an A-4 AAF along with a formation of Alpha Jets, conducting air combat training in support of RCAF CF-18 pilots based out of 4-Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. In addition to improving training for CF-18 aircrew, the introduction of A-4 AAF aircraft allows the RCAF to refocus internal resources on higher value training activities, particularly as they prepare for the F-35 transition.

“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,” said Paul Bouchard, CEO of Top Aces.

James “Preston” Manning, Vice-President – Canada, Top Aces Inc., concludes: “Canada’s forward-thinking approach to the CATS program has prompted Air Forces worldwide to follow suit. Especially as allied counterparts shift towards 5th Generation fleets, they increasingly acknowledge this industry’s importance for operational efficiency, extending fleet lifespan, and supporting the continued service of veterans.”

About Top Aces

Top Aces provides advanced ADAIR and JTAC training to the world’s leading air forces. It has the largest fleet of commercially operated fighter aircraft in active service and is the first company in the world to acquire the supersonic F-16. Top Aces’ mission-critical training enhances the operational readiness of combat forces by providing real-world experience, while creating significant cost efficiencies and extending the lifecycle of military fleets. For more information, please visit

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Media Contact:

Erin Black
Communications Manager, Top Aces
+1 (514) 867-0886
[email protected]

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

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Top Aces A-4 AAF Skyhawk Takes to Canadian Skies

Top Aces’ A-4 AAF Skyhawk flying during its first ADAIR training mission in support of RCAF CF-18 pilots at Cold Lake airbase.

Behind the Scenes: Skyhawk Mission Support

Top Aces technicians at RCAF airbase in Cold Lake before the successful completion of the A-4 AAF Skyhawk’s first training mission, preparing CF-18 pilots for advanced threats as part of the Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) program.

Originally published at

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