Top Aces Corp. has received its first batch of Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Block 10s at its F-16 Center of Excellence in Mesa, Arizona. The aircraft are former Israeli Air Force aircraft, which named its early F-16 variants as the Netz.
Top Aces Corp.—the U.S. subsidiary of Canadian company Top Aces Inc. (formerly Discovery Air Defence Services)—has been planning to acquire the aircraft for some years, but had been frustrated in its attempts due to an inability to gain the requisite export licenses without a firm adversary services contract. Now Top Aces has a U.S. Department of Defense contract, and it aims to begin flying the F-16s on aggressor work later this year.
“Our vision is to be the most trusted provider of innovative combat training solutions in a highly specialized industry where experience matters,” said Top Aces Corp. President Russ Quinn, a former aggressor pilot with over 3,300 F-16 flight hours. “We acquired our fleet of F-16s in order to fulfill our vision of training the next generation of combat leaders here in the U.S.”
The first four aircraft—three single-seat F-16As and a two-seat F-16B—arrived at Mesa on January 27. They were airlifted from Israel in partially disassembled form by a Ukrainian Antonov An-124 operated by Antonov Airlines. After preparation for service, the aircraft will be among the most capable supersonic aggressors available. Top Aces reports that they will have AESA radar, helmet-mounted cueing system, tactical data link, and high-off boresight missile threat capability.