An incident, involving a Mirage F1B aircraft contracted through Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), has occurred at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
A contract Mirage F1B has crashed at Tyndall AFB, in the morning on Feb. 25, 2021, the 325th Fighter Wing commander has just confirmed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilots and their families. At approximately 11:25 a.m. this morning a Mirage F1B aircraft contracted through Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) crashed off the end of the flight line at Tyndall Air Force Base. First responders were dispatched to the scene immediately and both pilots were taken to a hospital in Panama City, Florida, to assess injuries sustained during the crash. Tyndall is working closely with ATAC to ensure a thorough and timely investigation of the incident occurs. Additional details will be provided as they become available.” Col. Gregory Moseley, 325th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement published across the base’s social accounts.
ATAC is a private defense firm that provides “Red Air” aggressor aircraft during military exercises. The company was selected to provide two U.S. Air Force bases with adversary training under the Combat Air Forces (CAF) Contracted Air Support (CAS) program.
ATAC, one of the leaders in the contracted adversary training, has been supporting the US military training for the last 20 years with their mixed fleet of F-21 Lions (designation of the IAI Kfir C1s leased in the 80s by Navy and Marines, before the arrival of the F-16N), L-39ZA Albatros and Hawker Hunters MK-58. ATAC, through parent company Textron Airborne Solutions, acquired 63 Mirage F1s retired from the French Air Force in 2017, which are already flying in the US in support of the Navy. The first Mirage F1B of ATAC flew in August 2019.
Another company that acquired Mirage F1s is Draken International, which is among the companies that could be contracted for the remaining air bases.
We will update the story as new details emerge.