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TOP Aces - 414 EWS Alphajets soon to be replaced by F-16

Titix

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Hi,

As an ACSO applicant, I was looking at the airframes I could possibly use in a couple years.
I was glad to find out that some ACSOs end up in Ottawa on the TOP Aces' Alphajets (414 EWS). Then I found out on their website that TOP Aces' private fleet will include F-16 in the near future. Any of you have details about this transition? Besides hard work and the RCAF needs, does anyone know what does it take to be posted at 414 EWS? Is fitness level a key factor when the CF decide if you will be flying on a jet fighter or a Polaris?

Thanks!
 

blacktriangle

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I'm not an ACSO, but I've worked with a couple folks from 414 in the past. As one might expect, they were pretty knowledgeable about EW stuff...so I'd advise not sucking at it if you get a chance to become an ACSO in the CAF. IIRC, the person I worked with most had completed AOEW and other specialty courses in that realm. They were pretty switched on.

Anyways hopefully someone will be able to offer you better advice, as that's all I have. Good luck.

 

SupersonicMax

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I wouldn't count on a transition to Viper from Alphajet but rather a potential complement of Viper to supplement the Alphajet.  And I believe they are all Single Seat (ie: no EWO).  The EW pods on the Viper are all automatic anyways.
 

MarkOttawa

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Another company, in London ON (further links at original):

Canadian Fighter Pilot Training Company To Buy FA-50 Light Combat Jets
The jets could be used for advanced pilot training, adversary, and other duties that the firm provides.

TPS Canada Ltd, a commercial provider of tactical aviation training services, is poised to add the two-seat Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft to its roster, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Canadian firm and the jet’s manufacturer. The relationship, which ITPS officially announced yesterday, is described as serving to “promote the FA-50 for tactical and adversary training,” but the company plans to eventually entirely replace its legacy Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet trainer fleet with the type.

ITPS President Giorgio Clementi told The War Zone that his company plans to buy between eight and 12 examples of the South Korean FA-50 for the advanced training role. Like the Albatross, they will be based in Canada. As well as its five L-39Cs, the company also owns three Aero L-29 Delfins and two Hawker Hunters, all of which would potentially be superseded by the far more capable KA-50s.

“The KAI FA-50 is a great aircraft!” Clementi had said in an earlier company press release. “The aircraft’s performance, flying qualities, and mission capabilities make it the ideal platform for tactical and adversary training missions and a great fit for ITPS to replace our L-39 fleet. A new aircraft supported by the manufacturer and with the associated engineering and logistical support ensures reliable and cost-effective operations into the future.”
From its base at London International Airport in Ontario, ITPS presently runs its two divisions, the International Test Pilot School, one of only eight fully accredited test pilot schools in the world, and the International Tactical Training Center, or ITTC, which it claims is the only commercial setup currently offering advanced fighter pilot training. Its syllabuses include Fighter Weapons Instructor Courses, Advanced Tactics Courses, and Mission Commander qualifications.

ITPS has provided tactical training since 2001 and its ITTC division offers courses tailored to international customers who may either struggle to provide it themselves or require additional expertise or capacity. Currently, clients include the Royal Malaysian Air Force, pilots of which receive Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT) at London International. Previous ITPS customers for tactical training include the Indonesian Air Force, the Royal Thai Air Force, and the Pakistan Air Force.

Other major ITPS customers come from industry, for example from global aerospace giant Airbus, which recently chose the Canadian firm to provide three years of training for its in-house test pilot and lead flight-test engineers, due to begin in January 2021.

As previously noted, the ITTC fleet today is based around the two-seat L-39, a jet trainer that dates back to communist-era Czechoslovakia, when it equipped most Warsaw Pact air forces, as well as others aligned with that bloc. However, the Cold War jet remains in widespread use as a trainer and “red air” adversary aircraft, including in the United States, as it is robust and straightforward to maintain. Just as importantly, it lends itself to avionics upgrades to better represent modern fighter jet cockpits [lots more]...

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https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37484/canadian-fighter-pilot-training-company-to-buy-fa-50-light-combat-jets

Company's website:
https://itpscanada.com/

Mark
Ottawa



 

dapaterson

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Given the RCAF's ongoing challenges in training sufficient numbers of pilots despite one of the lowest attrition rates in NATO, maybe they should look at multiple streams / multiple contracts for pilot training...
 

SupersonicMax

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We are already doing this with the Euto-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program in the US.  Using civilian instructors for our Basic Flying Training with little oversight is not the solution.  Contracting instructors and airplanes and embed them within DND is more viable. 

Besides, ITPS offers Fighter Lead-In Training and we are not lacking there.
 

CBH99

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dapaterson said:
Given the RCAF's ongoing challenges in training sufficient numbers of pilots despite one of the lowest attrition rates in NATO, maybe they should look at multiple streams / multiple contracts for pilot training...


Question for Max, or another pilot on the forum.

What are some of the challenges the RCAF has in training sufficient numbers of pilots?


I remember when NATO flying training in Canada was all the rage, but I really don't know much about the progression of military pilot training.
 

Quirky

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Israel to sell surplus F-16s to Canadian company for $100 million
Defense Ministry is in negotiations to sell 29 used planes to simulate enemy forces in a deal set to be the largest sale of Israeli Air Force surplus yet

The Israeli Defense Ministry is in negotiations to sell 29 retired F-16 fighter jets to a Canadian company, Calcalist has learned. The deal is valued at $100 million, and is set to be the largest of its kind ever.

The planes are F-16 Hawks of the A/B variety, and had been in the Israeli Air Force’s possession since the 1980s, the last of which was retired from service in 2016. Planes of this variety took part in the 1981 attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor and in the 1982 Lebanon War, but were retired from active service once more advanced versions of the F-16 came into use. The Defense Ministry’s Export Agency (SIBAT) which is responsible for selling used military equipment is overseeing the deal.

The planes will not be purchased by the Candian government, but rather by a private company called Top Aces Inc. On its website, the company has already announced that it will soon be adding F-16s to its fleet that now includes Skyhawk and Alpha jet aircraft.

Top Aces provides the Canadian Air Force, the U.S. Air Force, and the Australian Air Force aircraft that simulate enemy combat threats, also known as the “Red Force”: its aircraft and pilots imitate enemy aircraft and practice interception drills against “Blue Force,” or the military. The company also offers services to Western navies that are interested in conducting exercises that involve combating airstrikes.

The use of a private company to facilitate the transaction also cheapens the deal, since employing used planes and private pilots is cheaper than using new combat planes and operational pilots. In the 1980s, the U.S. Air Force purchased Israeli Kfir aircraft for these enemy smulations, but now uses private companies for the same operations. In 2019, the U.S. Air Force paid $6.4 million to seven private companies to provide enemy simulation services, some of whom purchased surplus Israeli Kfir and Skyhawk aircraft.

The Israeli Air Force operates the 115th Squadron as its “Red Squadron” to simulate enemy threats. It is composed of active pilots that operate older planes including some of the F16s that will be sold to the Canadian company. The squadron isn’t operational, and during emergency situations its pilots join operational squadrons in combat.

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https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3877557,00.html

Another company in Cold Lake that can snap up pilots and techs from the RCAF.

 

Colin Parkinson

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So people can fly or maintain fighters without dealing with all the CF BS, that might be hard to compete with.
 

lenaitch

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Quirky said:
Another company in Cold Lake that can snap up pilots and techs from the RCAF.

The Company is based in Mirabel and is already under contract to the CAF.  I can't recall if I read that the acquisition allows them to retire their current Alphas and/or serve new contracts.
 

Cloud Cover

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Quirky said:
Another company in Cold Lake that can snap up pilots and techs from the RCAF.

I wasn’t aware the RCAF has an inventory of F16 trained techs and pilots. In any event, unless DND is fantastically negligent, their contracts with Top Aces should have non-solicitation clauses.
 

YZT580

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That is 1/3 the size of the planned order for new fighters: and by a private company.  I will bet that it didn't take 10 years to decide either.
 

CBH99

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YZT580 said:
That is 1/3 the size of the planned order for new fighters: and by a private company.  I will bet that it didn't take 10 years to decide either.


Not to be that irritating guy who critiques, but I think we're 10+ by a few years now... 
 

Quirky

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CloudCover said:
I wasn’t aware the RCAF has an inventory of F16 trained techs and pilots. In any event, unless DND is fantastically negligent, their contracts with Top Aces should have non-solicitation clauses.

A fighter is a fighter and I can’t imagine the F-16 being any more complex to maintain or fly than the hornet. Both are from the same era, transitioning to the Honda Civic of the sky doesn’t seem it would be all that difficult. Smaller airframe, simple landing gear and one less engine with associated accessories to worry about. The experience will have to come from somewhere, I’m not aware of any current or past operators out of Canada.
 

CBH99

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Quirky said:
A fighter is a fighter and I can’t imagine the F-16 being any more complex to maintain or fly than the hornet. Both are from the same era, transitioning to the Honda Civic of the sky doesn’t seem it would be all that difficult. Smaller airframe, simple landing gear and one less engine with associated accessories to worry about. The experience will have to come from somewhere, I’m not aware of any current or past operators out of Canada.


I'm speaking completely out of my lane here, as I have absolutely zero experience as an aircraft tech.  In fact, anything beyond a simple oil change & I have to go to a Mr. Lube...

But...


I think Quirky probably hit it on it's head.  If anything it's a less complex machine than the CF-18.  If countries like Pakistan can keep their fleets flying - sometimes with spare parts & support being withheld due to sanctions - I'm sure a private company full of ex-air force types can keep them going in much the same way as the other fast jets in their fleet.
 

SupersonicMax

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I doubt we’ll see those jets in Canadian skies anytime soon.  My bet is that they will fulfill the US contract.
 

blacktriangle

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Saw what I'm pretty sure was an Alphajet the other day between Ottawa and Petawawa. Always struck me as something that could be a cool gig, especially considering you should be able to have a decent quality of life while doing it...
 

BurmaShave

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YZT580 said:
That is 1/3 the size of the planned order for new fighters: and by a private company.  I will bet that it didn't take 10 years to decide either.

I mean, we made a very similar purchase for a very similar price (excluding upgrades), and that was decided seemingly at the drop of a hat :whistle:
 

CBH99

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BurmaShave said:
I mean, we made a very similar purchase for a very similar price (excluding upgrades), and that was decided seemingly at the drop of a hat :whistle:

"Replacing our aging fighters is one of this government's top priorities."
-  PM Trudeau, 2015




 

BurmaShave

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CBH99 said:
"Replacing our aging fighters is one of this government's top priorities."
-  PM Trudeau, 2015

I'm referring to the Aussie cast-offs, which went from good idea fairy to chequebook before anyone could even say "but you need 3 quotes".
 
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