The 64th Aggressor Squadron is one of just two dedicated ‘red air’ units in the US Air Force that specialize in replicating adversary aircraft types such as the MiG-29. However, this community of ‘bad guys’ is growing and big changes are on the radar scope.

Marked up for the commander of the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, serial 85-1418 is a Block 25 F-16C.
Dan Stijovich
Taxiing out at Nellis in May, this 64th AGRS F-16C is carrying an Elta EL-8222 electronic attack pod.
Jamie Hunter

AS THE TEMPERATURE hits 30°, four pilots step into the searing heat of a bright Nevada morning, quickly slapping on their sunglasses for protection from the glare. Greeted with a sharp salute from each of their crew chiefs, these ‘Viper’ masters inspect their mounts before climbing aboard. As they strap in, their respective flying helmets — perched carefully on the cockpit sill — reveal that each visor cover carries an unmistakable red star and Cyrillic writing. For these aviators, today’s intention is the same as any other: to prepare their opponents for what they might expect from a highly capable opponent in the air.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below