Don Kirlin: The Man Who Owns The World’s Most Advanced Private Air Force

Don Kirlin: The Man Who Owns The World’s Most Advanced Private Air Force
Credits: the-war-zone

Don Kirlin is the owner of Air USA the most advanced private air force in the world. Kirlin has reached thereafter building his fleet bit by bit over the last 30 years.

Kirlin’s company, Air USA, recently bought 46 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornets. Air USA pilots work as the bad guys for hire, for training and development, to replicate potential enemy threats to the US Air Force.

On its website, Air USA says it is a government contractor that provides tactical aircraft services to the US defence agencies, defence contractors, and foreign governments.

Air USA’s fleet currently comprises of the following:

  • 10 Hawks
  • 4 L-39ZAs
  • 2 L-39s
  • 5 PC-9 Turboprop Trainers
  • 17 Highly-modified Cessna T337 Turbo Skymasters
  • 10 F-5E Tiger IIs
  • 4 MiG-29 Fulcrums
  • 46 F/A-18 Hornets
Don Kirlin: The Man Who Owns The World’s Most Advanced Private Air Force
Credits: Air USA

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is replacing the Hornets with the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter by the end of 2021. Of the 46 jets purchased by Kirlin, 36 are still flying today.

Kirlin is hoping to put all of F/A-18 spare parts inventory and test equipment – valued at over $1 billion – to good use by bringing all the 46 jets back into service.

These fourth-generation fighters, which will make up at least three full-fledged squadrons, will be deployed across key bases in the US, giving the trainer pilots a very tough time as part of their air-to-air combat training.

These are equipped with bolt-on Elta EL-L/8222 electronic warfare pod, which are standard modular self-protection jamming systems going on around the globe, AN/APG-73 radar, thus giving the jets an ability to jam and engage simultaneously. The other features include:

  • Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28 LITENING advanced targeting pods
  • Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
  • Internal M61 20mm Vulcan cannon

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