Farnborough 2018: ATAC grows its Mirage F1 fleet
US adversary air specialists, Textron-owned ATAC, has now received the first 13 of a total of 63 Mirage F1 aircraft from the French Government. The aircraft have been delivered to the ATAC Adversary Center of Excellence (ATAC-ACE) at Fort Worth Alliance airport in Texas.
ATAC ACE was established earlier this year and is charged with providing flight operations management, maintenance and pilot training for the new fleet of Mirage F1s. The remaining 50 aircraft will be delivered over the coming months.
According to ATAC, the company’s purchase of the 63 Mirage F1s in July 2017, ‘marks the largest global sale of such aircraft to a private company’.
As well as the aircraft, ATAC has procured numerous spares including over 100 ATAR 9K50 engines.
The company plans to upgrade around 45 of the aircraft with new avionics and ‘training systems’ in order to meet the training requirements of US Department of Defense adversary air support contracts. These upgrades will include new radars and EW systems. The remaining aircraft will be used for spares.
The company’s investment in the new fleet is considerable. As well as the aircraft, ATAC-ACE includes a new hangar and warehouse facilities covering 270,000 sq ft.
As well as the Mirage F1s, ATAC operates the F-21 Kfir, Hawker Hunter Mk58 and the Aero Vodochody L-39.
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