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Top Aces completes first flight of F-16 AAF

January 20, 2022  By Wings Staff

Top Aces’ F-16A aircraft by M7 Aerospace of San Antonio, TX, an Elbit Systems of America company. (Photo: Kyler Noe, Top Aces)

Top Aces Corp. completed the initial test flight of its F-16 Advanced Aggressor Fighter (F-16 AAF), which is equipped with its proprietary Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS).

Top Aces explains this technology allows its aircraft to replicate the 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 operational test activities in preparation for its entry into service with the United States Air Force.

Leveraging an open system architecture, Top Aces explains how AAMS allows for the rapid integration of sensors and functions that a customer wants to use to improve their air combat readiness. The AAMS system today 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 for the replication of adversary tactics; Advanced Electronic Attack pod employment and passive RF detection capabilities; and a range of tactical functions coordinating the above systems to provide realistic adversary effects.

Top Aces explains AAMS represents four years of research and development by its engineers and technology partner Coherent Technical Services Inc. (CTSi) of Lexington Park, MD. Last year, 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 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.


Top Aces plans to upgrade the majority of its F-16 fleet with 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,” said Russ Quinn, President, Top Aces Corp., a 26-year USAF veteran and former Aggressor pilot with more than 3,300 F-16 flight hours.


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