Air Affairs Australia and Discovery Air Defence Services (DA Defence) have completed their first fast jet training mission in support of the Australian Defence Force’s Fast Jet Trial contract.
Two DA Defence upgraded Alpha Jets and four Air Affairs Learjets participated in air-to-air missions as Red Air aggressors near RAAF Williamtown, NSW. The jets were participating in the Royal Australian Air Force 81 Wing workups for future exercises.
“Air Affairs Australia is pleased to be working closely with Discovery Air Defence for the Fast Jet Trial," Air Affairs Australia said in a statement.
"Both companies are proud to be selected for this initial Fast Jet Trial. Discovery Air Defence’s proven track record in contracted air services brings a complementary solution to our current Jet Air Services contract. Our common commitment to the highest levels of safety and airworthiness will ensure the best training for the Australian Defence Force."
"This inaugural fast jet mission is a great milestone for everyone involved in our new Australian program," said Steven Nierlich, DA Defence program manager and a highly-experienced former CF-18 pilot.
"Discovery Air Defence and Air Affairs Australia are committed to delivering the world’s best adversary training to the Australian Defence Force."
Paul Bouchard, president of DA Defence, said, "This mission marks the achievement of initial operating capability (IOC) in our Australian fast jet program.
"Working closely with our partner Air Affairs Australia, also an expert in providing both jet and unmanned target services, we look forward to training the Australian Defence Force with highly-representative adversary threats beyond this trial and into the future."
DA Defence has eight main operating bases across three continents and operates the world’s largest privately-owned fleet of aggressor and combat support aircraft. Along with their wholly-owned US subsidiary, Top Aces Corp., DA Defence is the exclusive contracted airborne training service provider to the Canadian, German and Australian armed forces.
Air Affairs Australia teamed with DA Defence in March to deliver the Fast Jet Adversary Air capability for Australia.
The capability falls under Air Affairs' existing Jet Air Support contract, which commenced in Q3 of 2017.
Three fully crewed and maintained Alpha Jets will be based at RAAF Williamtown to provide Red Air for RAAF training, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training for the Australian Army and anti-surface training for the Royal Australian Navy. Operations, maintenance and logistics for Alpha Jets in Williamtown and at Albatross Aviation Technology Park (AATP) in Nowra will be supported by an integrated Air Affairs and DA Defence team.