The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), partnered with Valkyrie Aero, has landed a contract to provide live Contract Close Air Support (CCAS) for the Air Force Special Operations Command’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training course. According to an article released by the Aviationist, the companies will provide training support at multiple locations throughout the country. This contract comes after ATAC was awarded a deal to provide aircraft and pilots to role play as enemy planes at Luke and Holloman Air Force bases.
The aircraft that will be used for the CCAS training are the L-39 Albatros and A-27 Tucano. The plan is to begin implementing these aircraft into the JTAC training modules starting this summer. The companies will provide their services at up to 10 locations. They will fly over 900 training missions, equating to about 1,100 flight hours.
Valkyrie Aero will be providing the A-27 Tucano. The A-27 is a predecessor to the A-29 Super Tucano. The A-29 is still in service with the U.S. Air Force. It is used primarily for training Afghan pilots. The A-27 is loaded with modern technology, including an MX-15D EO/IR turret, UHF/VHF radios, Video Downlink (VDL), and Variable Message Format (VMF). In addition, it is armed with a 7.62 M-134H-equipped DAP-6 gun pod, 2.75″ rockets, and BDU-33/Mk-76 practice bombs. The A-27 has the ability to conduct daytime and nighttime operations.
In a press release, ATAC General Manager, Scott Stacy said, “ATAC is proud to support the training of AFSOC JTACs, the gold-standard in their field. This work expands on ATAC’s previous air-to-ground training and positions the company for future growth in this important training area.”
ATAC and Valkyrie Aero are not newcomers to providing CCAS training support. Just last year, they earned a contract to provide services for the Navy’s Terminal Attack Controller Trainer (TACT) program. They also just recently helped the Navy complete a training block for the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Naval Air Station Fallon.
Contracts like this are not uncommon. Recently, the Department of Defense awarded several contracts to support flight training and JTAC training. In order to train the Air Force’s F-15, F-16, and F-35 pilots, contracts for companies to provide adversary training have had a high priority.