Paramount Aerospace Systems USA (PAS USA), a subsidiary of Paramount Group, will expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services and training support for the Mirage F1 fighter fleet operated by the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), as ATAC has been awarded new contracts to provide adversary air pilot training to the US Air Force over the course of the next four and a half years.
The Virginia-headquartered ATAC, part of Textron Systems, has been selected to provide three US Air Force bases (Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida) with adversary air live training.
At the end of September, ATAC announced that it had been selected to provide Eglin Air Force Base with adversary air live training under the Combat Air Forces (CAF) Contracted Air Support (CAS) programme. Under the award, worth up to $92 million, ATAC will provide adversary air live training to F-22 and F-35 pilots at Eglin. The award provides for over 1 100 sorties per year for up to 4.5 years, which will be provided by ATAC’s fleet of Mirage F1 fighter aircraft and is expected to commence by January 2021.
The award is the last of an initial round of six operating locations (OLs) the Air Force has selected under the CAF CAS programme, with the Air Force stating its intention to eventually contract for such services at up to 22 OLs: 12 for adversary air and 10 for contracted close air support (CCAS). ATAC has now been selected for three of those adversary air OLs: Eglin Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Luke Air Force Base. Additionally, ATAC was selected to provide CCAS training for US Air Force Special Operations Command Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) under the same programme.
Paramount Aerospace Systems USA intends to scale significantly in both staff and services to meet the requirements of ATAC, including recruiting and training 18-20 personnel at the company’s US headquarters at Alliance Field in Fort Worth, Texas.
Paramount Aerospace Systems’ current services comprise maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), the servicing of airframes and return to service (RTS) of aircraft. Looking to the future, the US-based company aims to expand upon these services, expanding to ‘Depot level (D-level)’ capabilities, offering upgrades and extensive modifications and deep level maintenance services, depending on client requirements.
“Paramount Aerospace Systems has quickly established itself as a reliable and highly valued Mirage F1 and legacy fighter partner in the United States. The company has instituted a world-class engine maintenance facility and workshop in Fort Worth Texas, both for its customers operating within Alliance Field and remotely from Lakeland, Florida. Paramount’s Mirage F1 engine facility and workshop is the only facility of its kind presently operational internationally,” the company said.
ATAC’s first refurbished, supersonic, radar-equipped Mirage F1 performed its initial flight in the United States on 22 August 2019, then assisted by Paramount in providing Mirage F1 training. (ATAC acquired 63 ex-French Air Force Mirage F1s.) Paramount Group later provided upgrade and engineering support for partner Draken International’s first regenerated Mirage F1 maiden flight, held in Lakeland, Florida on 19 November 2019.
Paramount Aerospace Systems other customer, Draken International, has also been selected by the US Air Force to support aircrew training at three locations. Draken International has acquired a fleet of ex-Spanish Mirage F1s as well as 12 ex-South African Air Force Cheetah jets.
Brian Greyling, CEO of Paramount Aerospace stated: “It is a privilege to support our partners as they take on this exciting ‘red air’ campaign, expected to commence shortly in 2020. We are proud of what we at Paramount have achieved so far, including setting up the capabilities to provide the complete Mirage F1 solution, while ensuring an extensive, evolutionary depth of aircraft experience and knowledge.
“It’s our intention to expand our footprint and scope of services, drive and grow our business in the United States in support of and in tandem with our customers’ growth”.
Paramount Group in October 2017 announced it had acquired four ex-French Air Force Mirage F1Bs from the French government “to enhance its pilot training capabilities”. The company said its subsidiary Paramount Aerospace Systems would use the twin-seat aircraft as part of its pilot and maintenance technician training services.
Paramount said it has extensive capability on the Mirage F1 with full airframe and engine overhaul capability, as well as the ability to upgrade, modernise avionics and mission systems.