Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Airborne Tactical Advantage Company
English Title:
Airborne Tactical Advantage Company
First Established:
ICAO Code:
United States


Narrative Summary

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) was first formed in 1994 by two ex-USAF pilots, who saw an opportunity for commercial tactical flight services to fill the gaps left by the disbandment of several USAF and USN Aggressor Squadrons during the defence cuts of the 1990s. The first aircraft, two SAAB 35 Drakens, were obtained in 1997, and the first training operations were conducted under contracts from the US Navy.

The fleet was considerably expanded in 2002 with the acquisition of half a dozen IAI Kfirs retired from the Israeli Air Force. In 2004 the company added the capability of using electronic jamming systems as part of the training. A number of A-4 Skyhawks were added to the fleet, some company-owned and others obtained on lease. A significant change to the fleet was the introduction of more than a dozen ex-Swiss Air Force Hawker Hunters. Fast, agile and very reliable the Hunter soon became the backbone of the training fleet. In September 2011 the company was awarded a contract to support the training of Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) personnel – known in other countries as Forward Air Controllers – for the USAFE in Germany. The Skyhawks were retired in 2012 and replaced by a couple of Aero L-39 Albatros trainers.

By 2016 the market for commercial tactical air training market was quite well established, and continuing to expand. In July 2016 ATAC was acquired by Textron Inc, the company that owns Beechcraft and Cessna, with a view to developing further opportunities in this market.

Key Dates

1994    Airborne Tactical advantage Company first formed
1997    First aircraft enter service – two SAAB 35 Drakens
2002    Fleet bolstered by ex-Israeli AF IAI Kfirs
29 Sep 2011    ATAC wins 4-year USAFE JTAC contract in Germany
2016    ATAC is aquired by Textron Corporation

Current Status

ATAC provides outsourced civilian tactical airborne training services. These include air-to-air aggressor training services, air-to-ship crew preparedness training, and air-to-ground Forward Air Controller training.

Future Plans

None known.


Special Markings

Apart from the Drakens, aircraft operated by ATAC generally carry a two or three-tone camouflage paint scheme, with the ATAC logo on the fin in black. The Drakens retained their RDanAF gloss dark green finish.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft operated by ATAC carry United States civil aircraft registrations, eg. Hawker Hunter N321AX.

Fleet List

All-Time List of Serials/Registrations

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aero L-39 Albatros 2 2 0 Tactical Training
Hawker Hunter Mk.58 16 11 0 Tactical Training
IAI Kfir 6 5 0 Tactical Training

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aero L-39ZA Albatros 2 2012 current ?
Hawker Hunter Mk.58 15 2007 current Swiss AF
Hawker Hunter FGA.74 1 ? current UK
IAI Kfir C2 6 2002 current Israeli AF
Douglas A-4C Skyhawk 1 ? 2012 US Navy
Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 5 ? 2012 US Navy
Douglas A-4N Skyhawk 3 2008 2012 leased
Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk 1 ? 2012 US Navy
SAAB 35 Draken 2 1997 ? RDanAF

Aircraft NOT Used

No false allocations known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

One Kfir and two Hunters have been lost in accidents.


Main Headquarters

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, 1001 Providence Blvd Newport News, VA 23602, USA.

Organisational Structure

The company does not have any sub-units.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air base is NAS Point Magu, CA, but four other bases are regularly used inside and outside of the continental United States to deliver contracted services.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

See above.

More Information


None known.


To be added.


wikipedia: Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

Official ATAC Website

Facebook: Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

Outsourced Flight Support

On the ATAC!

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