A Private Company in Texas Have Its Own ‘Air Force’ that is in size rivals that of many countries

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is a government contractor based in Newport News, Virginia, USA. With its 63 former French air force Dassault Mirage F.1s, Fort Worth-based ATAC possesses an air force that, in size, rivals that of many countries.

It operates Mk-58 Hawker Hunter, Israeli F-21 Kfir, A-4 Skyhawk, and L-39 Albatross II military aircraft in tactical flight training roles for U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Air National Guard.

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is a Private Red-air Company in Texas. ATAC possesses 80 plus fighter jets which makes it an air force that, in size, rivals that of many countries.


Red-air companies provide adversary operation, which simulates the “red air” enemy force in the U.S. and allied war games.

Other red-air companies include Draken International, Tactical Air Support, Top Aces, and Air USA. Tactical Air Support recently procured 21 former-Jordanian F-5s, bringing its total fleet of F-5s to 26. Draken bought 12 ex-South African Cheetah fighters, boosting its own total fleet to 109 jets.

ATAC 2017 announced it would buy the single-engine Mirages in order to expand its fleet

Until recently, the U.S. military mostly provided its own red air. The Air Force operated three “aggressor” squadrons flying F-15s and F-16s. But the flying branch 2014 shuttered the F-15 unit as a cost-saving measure. Two squadrons — one each in Nevada and Alaska — continue to fly a few dozen F-16s in the adversary role.

As a stopgap, the Air Force has awarded Draken two small contracts for red-air services at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada as well as at six Air National Guard bases.

In late 2018 the flying branch asked red-air companies to submit proposals for a massive potential deal that would see a single company providing 30,000 annual adversary sorties at a cost of potentially billions of dollars. The Air Force expects to award a contract in 2019 or 2020.

ATAC with its huge private air force is a strong contender for the lucrative contract. But it’s got plenty of competition as the red-air industry quickly expands to meet rising military demand for a realistic aerial war game

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