Thursday, October 8, 2020

Air combat adversary picked

The Air Force has awarded ATAC, Textron Systems’ military airborne training unit, a contract to provide adversary air combat training to F-22 and F-35 pilots at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., the biggest winner in the initial round of the service’s effort to outsource pilot training that eventually could be worth billions. Under the new award, worth $94 million, ATAC will use its fleet of upgraded and refurbished Dassault Aviation Mirage F1 fighters to play adversaries in mock combat against Air Force pilots in more than 1,100 sorties per year for up to four-and-a-half years. The training is expected to begin in January 2021. The award is the last of six Red Air training tasking orders solicited this year under the the Air Force’s Combat Air Forces (CAF)/Contracted Air Support (CAS) program. The Air Force last October chose seven contractors to compete under an overarching indefinite delivery, indefinitely quantity (ID/IQ) contract, worth up to $6.4 billion, for both adversary air combat training and close air support training. (Sources: Breaking Defense, 09/29/20, The Aviationist, 10/04/20)