ATAC to provide ‘Red Air’ training at two USAF bases

On July 27, Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) announced that it had been awarded contracts to provide two USAF bases with live adversary air or ‘red air’ training.

The contracts – worth a combined total of US$240m – falls under the air arm’s Combat Air Forces (CAF) Contracted Air Support (CAS) programme.

Mirage F1 [ATAC]
ATAC purchased 63 ex-French Air Force Dassault Mirage F1s in July 2017. After modifying them, the company will employ the fighter in an adversary role for a variety of USAF training programmes. ATAC

The awards are part of the first five operating locations that the USAF has selected under its CAF CAS programme. The service intends to contract these services at up to 22 locations, 12 of which will be for adversary air training and ten for contracted close air support.

As part of the combined awards, ATAC – a subsidiary of Textron Airborne Solutions – will provide adversary air training to pilots at Luke Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona, and Holloman AFB in New Mexico. The contracts provide for 3,000 sorties per year for up to four and a half years.

ATAC’s fleet of ex-French Air Force Dassault Mirage F1s will be used to provide the training, which is scheduled to begin this autumn.

Scott Stacy, ATAC’s general manager, said: “ATAC is thrilled to have been selected to provide adversary training at Luke and Holloman AFBs, enabling us to continue our excellence in providing training to US and allied pilots… With additional ATAC F1s and pilots coming online, we are well positioned to expand our flight operations and provide adversary training at additional bases and locations, as needed.”