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Top Aces, is a Montreal, Quebec-based defence contractor that offers contracted airborne training services to the Canadian Armed Forces through the Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) program. Top Aces operates a fleet of modernized fighter aircraft to provide Red Air threat replication, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training, practice munitions drop, air-to-air gunnery training and naval target tow profiles for the Canadian and German militaries.[1] It also provides electronic warfare training and tactics development, and supports advanced radar trials in nationally controlled environments.[2] All Electronic Warfare Officers and EW role equipment are provided by the 414 Electronic Warfare Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as part of the CATS contract.[3]

Top Aces
IndustrySpecialized Aviation
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Paul Bouchard, President; Didier Toussaint, Group President

Canadian Armed Forces personnel are authorized to fly on board Top Aces fighter aircraft.[4]

Alpha Jet line up in Top Aces colours



Top Aces was founded in 2000 by three former Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter pilots. In 2005, Top Aces signed a $94-million contract with the Canadian Armed Forces to supply contracted combat support and adversary training.[5] In 2014, the company signed a contract to provide fast jet airborne training services to the German Armed Forces for five years.[6] In 2017, Top Aces was awarded a long-term Contracted Airborne Training Services contract with the Government of Canada. [3] In March 2017, Top Aces was awarded a contract to provide training support to the Australian Defence Force, with 3 Alpha jets deployed to RAAF Base Williamtown for 2 years.[7]

Top Aces, formerly Discovery Air Defence Services (DADS), is no longer a 'Wholly Owned Subsidiary' of the parent company Discovery Air. It is now owned by Clairvest and other unnamed investors with transactions completed on 22 Dec 17.[8] As of July 2018, Top Aces Inc, Top Aces Holdings Inc and Clairvest are subject to ongoing legal proceedings lodged in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List).[9]


Top Aces aircraft do not have any RCAF markings and are not included in the RCAF aircraft inventory. Some Alpha Jets retained the German Air Force paint schemes, but a few have been repainted in desert or northern camouflage. The fleet consists of:

Top Aces Active Fleet
Aircraft No. of Aircraft Variants Notes
Alpha Jet 16 Model A
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk 7 A-4N
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk 2 TA-4J
IAI Westwind 2 1124


  1. ^ Exhibitor Profile for Discovery Air Inc.
  2. ^ About Us
  3. ^ Force, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian Air. "414 Electronic Warfare Squadron | 3 Wing | Royal Canadian Air Force". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  4. ^ RCAF Spring Edition 2015, page 82
  5. ^ History
  6. ^ [1] Discovery Air deploys A-4N jets to Germany ahead of training contract]
  7. ^ "Discovery Air Defence and Air Affairs Australia Win Jet Air Support Trial Contract in Australia". Top Aces. 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  8. ^ "Download SEDAR Filings - Code Verification and Accept Terms of Use". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  9. ^ "CCCA Proceedings - Ontario Superior Court of Justice" (PDF).

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