Top Aces pilots, who fly F-16 fighter jets, will embody the enemy in combat training with the US Air Force over the next five years, a deal that could net the Quebec company up to CAN230 million.
Posted at 4:10 p.m
As the world’s first private operator of this type of military aircraft, Top Aces has just won its first major air training contract with an adversary in the United States – the world’s top defense spender. The specialist in combat training services, based in Montreal on the Trans-Canada Highway, already counts the Canadian and German armies among its customers.
“These are years of investment for us,” said Erin Black, Corporate Communications Manager. It’s big for us. It probably opens doors to something other than showing other countries what we can do. »
The 26 Top Aces F-16 fighters, purchased by the Israeli army, will land at two bases: Eglin in Florida and Luke in Arizona. From next month, they will assume the role of belligerents for American pilots of the F-35 – the fighter aircraft built by Lockheed Martin, presented as the most advanced from a technological point of view – as well as the F-22.
For the company, founded in 2000 by former military pilots, the contract is the culmination of a long process. In 2019, the company was one of seven companies selected for a framework agreement valued at up to $6.4 billion. Top aces managed to get their piece of the pie.
“We talked about it for a long time, and it finally became a reality,” says M.me Black.
If the contract allows Top Aces to grow, the benefits will be seen further south of the border. The company needs pilots, mechanics and engineers at the two American bases.
The United States has decided to join the list of countries outsourcing the adversary role, reducing costs and providing more productive training hours for pilots. In Canada, Top Aces had secured a $480 million contract with the Canadian National Defense. Renewable, the deal could reach 1.4 billion by 2031.
Top Aces currently has approximately 380 employees – including approximately 160 in Quebec – spread across Canada, the United States and Germany. The company’s workforce will swell thanks to this new contract. Mme However, Black did not quantify the extent of the planned hiring.
The company counts the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) among its shareholders. According to the latest annual report, Quebecers’ wool sock placement is estimated at 50 to 100 million.
- $780 billion
- This is the estimated United States military budget for fiscal year 2022
Source: United States government