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AEC Skyline and Top Aces Inc. Unveil Exclusive Teaming Agreement

Key defense industry players join forces to bring advanced air combat training to Northwestern Europe

top aces© Aviation PhotoCrew - Geert Van de Put - Arizona Top ACES 2023ROTTERDAM, November 30, 2023 – World-leading contracted adversary air (ADAIR) and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training provider, Top Aces, and Dutch defense company, AEC Skyline, signed a teaming agreement today during the “NIDV Exhibition Defense & Security” (NEDS) tradeshow in Rotterdam, NL. By combining service offerings, both companies aim to collaborate on the joint provision of advanced ADAIR and JTAC training in Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.

This partnership comes at a time when NATO allies are experiencing a rapidly increasing demand for bespoke ADAIR training for their 4th and 5th Generation fighter forces. In an insecure world, the replication of near-peer adversaries has become even more essential for combat readiness.

The cooperation between both companies began earlier in 2023 when AEC Skyline sub-contracted Top Aces for JTAC training in support of the Netherlands military, fulfilling a growing need for realistic and affordable training in this specialized domain. The two organizations also participated in the major multinational aerial exercise “Frisian Flag” led by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) in October, where the F-35 played a role within the Blue Force.

Renowned for its premium contracted defense training solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defense, and the German Bundeswehr, among others, Top Aces fields a large fleet of high-performance aircraft including the F-16, A-4, Alpha Jet, Learjet 35, PC-9 and OV-10 turbo props, and more. Its Advanced Aggressor Fighters are equipped with AESA radar, Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (HMCS), Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST), and a multitude of other high-end capabilities. Top Aces’ offering greatly complements the existing contracted air training provided by AEC Skyline via the Learjet 36A, GA8 Airvan and the upgraded L-39 Albatros aircraft.

“We are very pleased to join forces with Top Aces. The goal of this partnership is to accelerate and augment the quality of training for F-35 operators in Northwestern Europe” stated Mr. Stef Have, CEO and Managing Director, AEC Skyline. “This agreement will combine our company's extensive knowledge, network and relationships within the regional aerospace and defense industry, along with Top Aces' significant resources, assets and expertise – thereby addressing the evolving contracted air training needs in this European region."

Mr. Didier Toussaint, Group President, Top Aces Inc., continued: “We’re excited to partner with AEC Skyline, a key player in Europe’s defense training industry. Together, we look forward to elevating the standard of contracted air combat training by providing the most threat-representative experience for our modern fighter forces.”

About Top Aces

With more than 120,000 accident-free flight hours, Top Aces Inc. and its subsidiaries (including Top Aces Corp. and Blue Air Training Corp.) provide advanced ADAIR and JTAC technology and training to the world’s leading armed forces. It has the largest fleet of commercially operated fighter aircraft in active service and is the world’s only commercial owner/operator of the F-16. Top Aces’ mission-critical training enhances the operational readiness of combat forces by delivering real-world experience while creating significant cost efficiencies and extending the lifecycle of military aircraft fleets. For more information, please visit

About AEC Skyline

Founded in 1991, AEC Skyline provides advanced contract air and C4ISR services and products. Serving a wide range of customers including the Netherlands MoD and the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), the company offers close air support, electronic warfare, ADAIR training and target towing combined with remote sensing and calibration and testing.

AEC Skyline's critical data solutions division supports digitization efforts by the Netherlands and other countries' armed forces and public security organizations by means of its high-end communications and networks, data and analytics solutions. It also offers extensive systems integration expertise and consultancy. In addition, AEC Skyline represents some of the world's leading C4ISR OEMs including Haivision, Juggernaut.Case, L3Harris Broadband Communications Systems, Myriad Technologies and Persistent Systems. For more information, please visit

AEC Skyline and Nokia Agree to Cooperate on Communications Network Technologies

Digital Defence Transformation - Nokia and AEC Skyline Agree to Cooperate on Communications Network Technologies

Army personell carrying Banshee Tactical RadioROTTERDAM, November 30, 2023 - During the latest edition of the NIDV Exhibition Defence & Security AEC Skyline and Nokia announced they have agreed to cooperate in the area of cellular network technologies. Under the partnership, AEC Skyline will promote Nokia's secure and reliable wireless broadband network offerings, including the Fenix Group's Banshee mobile and tactical radios product suite in the Dutch market.

As a leader in B2B wireless and wireline communications, Nokia provides high performance 4G, and 5G wireless mission-critical communications systems for defence applications. These solutions support the digital transformation of armed forces worldwide as they strive to elevate mission intelligence and dramatically improve operations.

AEC Skyline in its turn supports a wide-ranging series of ambitious digitisation efforts by the Netherlands and other countries' militaries and public safety agencies, all aimed at enabling the successful conduct of true intel driven operations.

Deployable 3GPP broadband network with Banshee 

Fitted with an edge computing platform, which can integrate a TAK server, the Banshee mobile and tactical radios facilitate mission critical teams working together, even when not connected to the internet. They do this by enabling team members to communicate and share critical data while on the move. Customers are able to leverage high performance cellular network technology, such as off-the-shelf smartphones and sensors. Banshee also enables reach back to remote echelons via multiple connectivity options, including SATCOM, while the integrated MANET radio enables communications when operating outside of the deployable broadband network bubble.

Developed in conjunction with the Fenix Group and already fielded, the Banshee radio, available in both vehicular and man-portable variants, guarantees a true and comprehensive real-time common operating picture and enhanced situational awareness.

Multi domain broadband network connectivity 

Collaboration between both parties covers the tactical, operative and military strategic levels. Nokia's connectivity and 5G broadband technologies lend themselves particularly well to a wide range of military applications, either on land and/or at sea.

The latest cooperation with Nokia will lead to a further expansion of AEC Skyline's C4ISR products and services portfolio. The latter already includes a wide range of communications, network, data and analytics solutions together with the company's Whisper secure roaming services. 

About Nokia

At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together.

As a B2B technology innovation leader, we are pioneering networks that sense, think and act by leveraging our work across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. In addition, we create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.

Service providers, enterprises and partners worldwide trust Nokia to deliver secure, reliable and sustainable networks today – and work with us to create the digital services and applications of the future. For more information, please visit

About AEC Skyline

Founded in 1991, AEC Skyline provides advanced contract air and C4ISR services and products. Serving a wide range of customers including the Netherlands MoD and the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), the company offers close air support, electronic warfare, adversary air training and target towing combined with remote sensing and calibration and testing.

AEC Skyline's critical data solutions portfolio includes high-end communications and networks, data and analytics solutions while the company also offers extensive systems integration expertise and consultancy. In addition, AEC Skyline represents some of the world's leading C4ISR OEMs including Haivision, Juggernaut.Case, L3Harris Broadband Communications Systems, Myriad Technologies and Persistent Systems. For more information, please visit

AEC Skyline Partners with Juggernaut.Case

10 July 2023

haho lite nav boardAEC Skyline is proud to announce it has entered a partnership with Juggernaut.Case, the versatile American company that is renowned for its rugged products designed to protect, mount and connect commercially available devices (Apple, Samsung, Google, Panasonic), hereby turning them into tactically viable situational awareness enhancing systems.

The primary goal of both AEC Skyline and Juggernaut.Case is to support the military, law enforcement end user. Juggernaut.Case's field designed products are thus tested according to proper MIL-SPEC standards with the company's in-house set up including a fully equipped drop test studio (for MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-810H, MIL-STD-202-203 drop tests), tumble tester, pressure chamber, vacuum tester, thermal chamber, cycle tester and immersion tank (IP67). This results in the company's full range of solutions being tested to maximize durability when used in rugged environments, meaning from standard body or vehicle placement to full military free fall (MFF) scenarios.

One-Stop Shop

jc lockup grayUnder Juggernaut.Case's Alliance partnership scheme, AEC Skyline will not merely act as a reseller but also as an integrator. The addition of Juggernaut.Case to our growing list of partners will further enhance AEC Skyline’s already extensive C4I related products and services portfolio as we strive to become a one-stop shop for our customers.

Juggernaut.Case's product ecosystem consists of various cases, body worn, vehicle/aviation and radio mounts together with charge, hub/radio and specialty cables, allowing a customer to build its own customised kit. AEC Skyline now offers Juggernaut.Case's full range of products including its robust OPRTR and SLEEV smartphone and tablet cases as well as its military approved Ejection Seat Electronic Kneeboard kit (EKB), the preferred choice for combat aircraft pilots worldwide.

mount ejection seat ekb solution 3

ISR At The Edge – AEC Skyline Continues to Support TNO Led On-Board Edge Computing Trials

isr at the edge equipment inside an airplain3 July 2023

In June the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO together with AEC Skyline conducted another series of successful on-board edge computing trials under auspices of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. Part of the groundbreaking ISR At The Edge project that is aimed at shortening the sensor-to-shooter loop during actual military operations, the latest trials were held over the Royal Netherlands Army’s Marnewaard training area.

Whereas previous tests which were conducted in mid-2022 already demonstrated the ability to deliver real time detection and identification of ground and other targets from various live datastreams, the June trials showed performance of TNO's Edge Computing System (TECS) has since improved as planned. This includes a higher degree of autonomy with regard to detection being implemented with the EO/IR system being actively controlled by TECS.

Featuring high performance on-board processing coupled with automatic object recognition software and other AI-based algorithms, TECS fuzes imagery and data that originate from an EO/IR sensor pod and other sensor equipment into a single coherent picture. two people from TNO looking at a computer screenThe sensor systems are mounted on board a GA8 Airvan testbed aircraft that is furnished and operated by AEC Skyline. Renowned for its ability to provide key aerial services to the Netherlands and allied armed forces, the defence and aerospace industry as well as various research institutes, AEC Skyline relies om video encoding technology from its partner Haivision in order to enable high quality low latency full motion video during these trials. Air-ground connectivity is ensured by means of the Wave Relay mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) MPU5 radio from Persistent Systems, yet another partner of AEC Skyline. Furthermore, the company provides a manned ground control station which is used to monitor and share data whilst on location.

Photographs courtesy of Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO

Swarming Drones - AEC Skyline Supports Royal Netherlands Army's Next Generation Concept Development Scheme

a 500In mid-March AEC Skyline's critical data solutions division provided vital support to some of the Royal Netherlands Army's latest innovation efforts as a series of UAS swarming concept development & experimentation (CD&E) trials took place on the Antilles island of Aruba. Conducted under auspices of the 11th Air Assault Brigade, these experiments were preceded by a series of training events that were initiated by the army's 107 Aerial Systems Battery and Domestic Operations/Mobile CIS Control Centre (NATOPS/MCCC) platoon starting early February. C4I support for these events was also provided by AEC Skyline with Aruba providing an excellent backdrop for the RNLA's UAS operations due to its extensive airspace and adequate radio frequency availability.

b 500Part of the army's overarching Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS) programme, the latest Swarming Drones trials saw AEC Skyline's staff delivering a wide range of C4I related solutions, training and services. During the March experiments several UAS took to the air, performing various tasks such as mapping, carrying out reconnaissance missions and supporting command & control, hereby paving the way for the integration of such technologies during multi domain operations, as envisaged by the Dutch military. Given where the innnovation project currently stands, in Aruba the focus was very much on connecting all elements and gaining experience with planning, configuring and managing various types of Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) software defined radios. Hence, AEC Skyline's critical data solutions staff joined forces with its partner, MANET radio pioneer Persistent Systems. For the latest concept development project this resulted in the AEC Skyline/Persistent Systems combo providing the 3x3 Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO) configured MPU5 radio and its related WaveRelay and CloudRelay technologies, the latter for BLOS connectivity. AEC Skyline's LTE-A based adhoc router streaming box and a Starlink based LEO SATCOM solution were added while MPU5's intelligent Radio over IP (ROIP) tether feature was also demonstrated during operations in Aruba.

Part of AEC Skyline's Whisper product range, multivendor connectivity simcards were put to good use during these latest trials while the company also assisted in the area of tactical applications with Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) functionality being ensured for all users that were present. In addition, under an agreement with BAE Systems, AEC Skyline's personnel supplied the SOCET GXP geospatial exploitation tool while guaranteeing overall data access for participating units.

All photographs courtesy NL MoD.

ISR At The Edge – TNO, AEC Skyline Collaborate On On-board Edge Computing

20221103 01In mid-October many months of preparation on the groundbreaking ISR At The Edge project by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO and AEC Skyline culminated in a series of successful live demonstrations for a Netherlands MoD audience. The tests were conducted at 't Harde during one of the Royal Netherlands Army – Fire Support Command's exercises.

Providing on-board high performance processing coupled with automatic target recognition software and AI algorithms, TNO's Edge Computing System (TECS) demonstrated it is capable of delivering real time detection and identification of targets and events from live EO, IR and GMI datastreams. These datastreams originated from a L3Harris WESCAM pod and a SIGINT sensor respectively with the latter two sensors being mounted on AEC Skyline's GA8 Airvan testbed aircraft during the trials. With Havision's video encoding technology enabling high quality low latency full motion video, TECS generated information and imagery were fused into a single coherent picture, hereby providing actionable intelligence which was sent to the ground control station that was used.

20221103 02TNO's latest ISR At The Edge trials are part of wider technological efforts aimed at shortening the sensor-to-shooter loop during actual military operations. Planned future tests by TNO will see an even higher degree of autonomy being implemented.

The October series of trials were monitored from AEC Skyline's ground control station by one of the company's operators. Sensor and monitoring data from AEC Skyline and test results from TNO were shared with the assembled audience consisting of various Netherlands MoD officials at an adjacent ground location in 't Harde. During these latest trials, air-ground connectivity was ensured using the Wave Relay mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) MPU5 radio from AEC Skyline's partner company Persistent Systems.

Netherlands MoD awards five year Dutch aerial services contract to AEC Skyline

aec skyline defense contractOn 12 July the Netherlands MoD announced it has awarded its latest, multi-year aerial services contract to domestic defence company AEC Skyline. The contract's five year framework includes the delivery of airborne (JTAC CAS) and threat simulation, jamming and ISR services as well as advice & assistance and support to concept development & experimentation activities by the Dutch military. The agreement was signed by the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation's procurement director Roselinde Wijman with CEO Stef Have acting on behalf of AEC Skyline.

Adherence to various NATO STANAGs regarding the use of EO, IR, SAR still and/or full motion imagery, GMTI, the ISR library interface used is also stipulated in the contract as well as the ability to control the sensors of the platforms that will be provided by AEC Skyline from a ground control station. New capabilities required under the latest contract include multi-/hyperspectral and wide area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor systems. Also part of the framework agreement is Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) training.

Building on 30 years of experience in providing high end, cost effective contract air services to the Dutch and allied armed forces, AEC Skyline is honoured to be awarded yet another contract by one of its foremost clients. AEC Skyline's CEO Stef Have comments: "we as a company are looking forward to strengthening and expanding our business relationship with the Dutch military. We are grateful to be awarded this latest contract which I consider to be in recognition of our high standards and the trust that has been developed over the years between our staff and the military. AEC Skyline's personnel will continue to provide first rate support during training exercises as well as operations with us, like before, aiming to operate as closely integrated as possible with our customer."

The services will mostly be rendered in Dutch airspace, although the contract also requires AEC Skyline to operate within NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries, NATO allies and above international waters.

AEC Skyline will be responsible for procurement, installation, certification, maintenance, repair, replacement and adjustment of the mission and safety equipment and updates in the platforms used, either already installed or planned to be installed, for the duration of the agreement, all this in accordance with Netherlands military aviation regulations.

About AEC Skyline

AEC Skyline provides fast air, ISR support and critical data solutions to a wide range of clients including the Netherlands and coalition armed forces, the defence and aerospace industry, as well as to a number of renowned research institutes.

Operating out of Groningen Airport Eelde and Breda Airport, the company offers close air support, EW, “red air” training, target towing and remote sensing together with IT networking, systems integration solutions and consultancy services. Recently, LOWLAND was launched, our S2IX powered combat data transfer solution. This is part of AEC Skyline's growing critical data solutions portfolio which also includes Whisper hosting, our new secure roaming services.

In addition, AEC Skyline represents some of the world's leading OEMs in the fields of network radio communications, information management and video encoding solutions such as L3Harris Communications, Persistent Systems, Myriad Technologies and Haivision. Recognising the growing demand for unmanned systems, AEC Skyline also partners with Elistair, the renowned tethered drone company, and with Milrem Robotics, integrating new technologies into their family of advanced UGVs.

AEC Skyline launches LOWLAND, its S2IX powered combat data transfer solution

logo lowlands combat 4 01Venturing into the field of combat cloud services, AEC Skyline now launches LOWLAND, its innovative combat data transfer solution. Part of our growing critical data solutions portfolio that also encompasses network radios and secure IoT connectivity simcards, LOWLAND is powered by the award winning Secure Search & Information Exchange (S2IX) technology from Myriad Technologies. Recently, AEC Skyline and Myriad Technologies reached a cooperation agreement under which the Netherlands based company will market Myriad's S2IX technology in the Benelux countries. Australian company Myriad Technolgies is renowned for its ability to deliver a wide range of interoperable information management products including a series of solutions based on Microsoft's technologies. This corresponds neatly with us selecting the latter's Azure cloud environments as part of LOWLAND's overall architecture.

Aimed at ensuring a timely, reliable and secure transfer of critical data from the field to operational and strategic level command centres, even in denied, disrupted, intermittent and limited conditions, our LOWLAND solution enables defence forces to gather and interpret data generated by various sensors, systems using the S2IX template as it integrates with battle management systems and other platforms. Working seamlessly on all Azure cloud environments and their stack extensions, this allows a real intel driven approach by armed forces, creating a comprehensive common operating picture that ensures superior situational awareness.

With integrated data management easing planning, management and decisionmaking during multidomain operations anywhere in the world, our automated, deployable services come with multi-level security protection up to top secret, carefully balancing the need to know with the need to share at all layers of command and control. Securing the flow of information including big data between units, organisations, agencies, our S2IX powered LOWLAND combat data transfer solution ensures you have the latest version of information at your fingertips while supporting the key requirements of NATO's Federated Mission Networking (FMN) standards.

AEC Skyline's CEO Stef Have remarks: "Building on our experience of handling large volumes of data, this due to our ISR work that is based on full motion video and other imagery, we believe there is a growing market among armed and security forces for cloud based technology that is capable of turning data into actionable intelligence instantly while distributing, synchronising such intelligence across various C2 echelons, all this in a secure manner".

LOWLAND has already attracted substantial interest in the defence sector and was recently tested during a multinational interoperability exercise. Later this year our combat data transfer solution will again be put to the test during a series of exercises.

LOWLAND's full range of activities furthermore entails various relevant data migration services including systems and data analysis, technical design and implementation, essential tooling all the way to the actual migration of mission essential data and subsequent validation, all this backed by proper advice and assistance.

About AEC Skyline

AEC Skyline provides fast air, ISR support and critical data solutions to a wide range of clients including the Netherlands and coalition armed forces, the defence and aerospace industry, as well as to a number of renowned research institutes.

Operating out of Groningen Airport Eelde and Breda Airport, the company offers close air support, EW, “red air” training, target towing and remote sensing together with IT networking, systems integration solutions and consultancy services. Recently, Whisper hosting was launched, our new secure roaming services.

In addition, AEC Skyline represents some of the world's leading OEMs in the fields of communications, IT and video encoding solutions such as L3Harris Communications, Persistent Systems, Myriad Technologies and Haivision. Recognising the growing demand for unmanned systems, AEC Skyline also partners with Elistair, the renowned tethered drone company, and with Milrem Robotics, integrating new technologies into their family of advanced UGVs.

AEC Skyline supports Inmarsat's Operation Beyond the Horizon event series

obth aec skylineIn mid-June AEC Skyline participated in yet another Inmarsat Global Government led Operation Beyond the Horizon (OBTH) event at the British Army's Larkhill Camp. OBTH's aim is to showcase the latest technological advances in the field of satellite communications and how these apply to military operations in remote areas where there is little to no reliable terrestial communications networks. Building on similar succesful OBTH events that were conducted earlier this year, the latest edition saw our personnel supporting a live, joint SATCOM capability demonstration for an international audience that included UK, German and Netherlands MoD staff.

Combining state-of-the-art low latency video encoding technology with advanced LTE mobile routers from our respective partners Haivision and Peplink, all this supported by multivendor connectivity simcards from our Whisper secure roaming services, AEC Skyline demonstrated its ability to seamlessly connect its products with a broad range of communications solutions provided by other vendors.

Among the realistic operational scenarios that were simulated during the OBTH event series were reconnaissance on foot (dismounted soldier), mobile reconnaissance, covert surveillance and Forward Operating Base (FOB) operations with the provision of Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) tactical push-to-talk (PTT), ISR, BMS connectivity and enhanced situational awareness being demonstrated, both on the move or when operating stationary.

C-UAS - AEC Skyline en ForcePro slaan de handen ineen

c uas aec skyline and forceproOp 22 maart j.l. tekenden de CEO’s van AEC Skyline en ForcePro bv, Stef Have en Theo Karafantis, een samenwerkingscontract op het gebied van de verdere ontwikkeling van Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) mogelijkheden binnen de Benelux. Dit betreft zowel militaire als civiele toepassingen van C-UAS-technologie die steeds meer aan belang winnen, dit gezien de proliferatie van onbemande systemen en het gevaar dat daarvan uitgaat.

Door de bundeling van krachten beoogt deze nieuwe speler in de markt een breder bereik. De kennis en expertise opgedaan door specialisten van beide ondernemingen zijn complementair waardoor het nu ontstane partnerschap nog meer dan voorheen in staat zal blijken zich toe te leggen op het leveren van een kosteneffectieve totaaloplossing aan de klant.

Over AEC Skyline, Force Pro

AEC Skyline heeft jarenlang ervaring v.w.b. het leveren van aerial services (close air support, electronic warfare, ISR) en kritische dataoplossingen (systeemintegratie, IT-netwerken) aan Defensie, industrie en onderzoeksinstituten. Daarnaast vertegenwoordigt het bedrijf diverse leveranciers van relevante missiesystemen in Nederland. Zodoende beschikt het bedrijf over uitgebreide kennis als het gaat om het hanteren van diverse typen sensoren, EW-systemen, het ontsluiten van data maar ook het inrichten van de overkoepelende systeemarchitectuur.

ForcePro op zijn beurt heeft zijn sporen verdiend met het verzilveren en naar tevredenheid uitvoeren van diverse tenders binnen het C-UAS-domein, dit als vertegenwoordiger van het internationaal opererende DroneShield, bekend van zijn handzame en effectieve C-UAS-technologie (detectie, effectors, command & control).

Het is de stellige overtuiging van beide CEO's dat de twee partijen elkaar zullen versterken als het gaat om het leveren en onderhouden van oplossingen die de gehele C-UAS keten, van detectie, identificatie en classificatie tot en met interceptie, beslaan. Intussen is het nieuwe samenwerkingsverband voortvarend aan de slag gegaan en participeert het al gezamenlijk in diverse projecten.

Bold Quest 21.2 - AEC Skyline provides DACAS, airborne C2 node

Executed between 1 and 17 November, edition 21.2 of exercise Bold Quest (BQ) brought AEC Skyline yet again to the United States, in this case to the state of Indiana, to provide vital Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS), ISR and C4I support. Prior to the event our personnel linked up with Alpha-1 Aerospace and L3Harris Technologies at Indiana's Columbus Municipal Airport. Here, thorough systems integration and testing of the Air Tractor AT-802U based Sky Warden ISR Strike aircraft was conducted before our team started operating over Camp Atterbury's training area during the exercise.

BQ 21.2's initial, week long lab testing phase was used to conduct a series of ground and air tests in close cooperation with Dutch Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) taking part in the exercise. This combined with the subsequent live execution phase saw our team delivering a total of 50 hours of DACAS and ISR to Bold Quest's multinational training audience. This included almost 200 JTAC supported controls, mostly in support of Netherlands MoD DACAS Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and CAS C2 development aims. In addition to being tasked to support participating Dutch units, ISR missions were also flown on behalf of Australian Special Operations Forces.


aec sensor to shootSponsored by the US Joint Staff, the Bold Quest exercise series is aimed at improving coalition interoperability of joint and combined fires and tactical sensor-to-shooter loops. Specific Dutch aims during BQ 21.2 included the testing and validation of various engineering change proposals to the existing mobileJECL communications based JTAC equipment ensemble, also known as the NLD Android Precision Assault Strike Suite (APASS), the integration of emerging capabilities such as NET-T, MANET and Handheld Link-16 and the assessment of new Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications options. Also high on the agenda were trials aimed at improving the integration of land and air C2 information flows at all levels together with the testing of airborne hub CONOPS for ground networks.

In order to achieve these aims we fielded the advanced Sky Warden aircraft as a combined airborne C2 node, DACAS platform. Hence, Sky Warden was equipped with a wide array of systems and EO/IR sensors including ANW2C which was used for C2 purposes. Stauder Technologies' JECL based GustoAir kneeboard air-ground communications device combined moving map with situational awareness overlay while imagery was generated by WESCAM MX-20, MX-15 pods. Other systems included a VORTEXi transceiver (FMV, KLV), PRC-117G (VMF), Link-16 STT and MPU-5, the latter furnished by our partner Persistent Systems.

aec bold quest

During the exercise Sky Warden demonstrated its ability to provide persistent support, providing all weather, day and night capability to its JTAC customers. BQ21.2's live air phase included a memorable mission that saw us logging 7.7 hours of continuous operations in the air with more than 2 hours of fuel remaining in the Sky Warden aircraft at the end of the mission.

In an effort to guarantee adequate connectivity during the exercise, AEC Skyline also deployed some of its bespoke critical data solutions including LTEA, 5G network capability backed by a secure VPN functionality.

About AEC Skyline

AEC Skyline provides fast air, ISR support and critical data solutions to the military, the defence and aerospace industry, and research institutes. Operating out of Groningen Airport Eelde and Breda Airport in the Netherlands, the company offers close air support, electronic warfare, “red air” training, remote sensing and target towing together with networking and consultancy solutions.

Exercise Green Griffin - AEC Skyline provides critical data, CAS training

oefening green griffin Remy Sapuletejfoto Remy SapuletejOrganised by the German Rapid Reaction Division, exercise Green Griffin 2021 saw some 3000 troops from Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and the United States being trained in Eastern Germany between 27 September and 8 October.

During the latest iteration of the bi-annual field training exercise, AEC Skyline deployed its Learjet 36A platform, hereby delivering much needed Close Air Support (CAS) training. Meanwhile, vital, specialist C4I support by AEC Skyline aided some of the ongoing ground operations by establishing critical communications.

In addition to German and Romanian troops, Green Griffin participants included elements from the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade (Air Assault). In its turn, the exercise's ground component was supported by Dutch, German and US rotary wing assets.

One of the units from the Dutch Airmobile Brigade that was involved was the brigade recce squadron's Pathfinder platoon. Renowned for their ability to reconnoitre potential landing sites for air assault, airborne and tactical air landing operations, the pathfinders brought along some of their recently acquired mini unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Among the capabilities provided by these UAS is the ability to generate imagery of possible landing sites from the air. This provides friendly forces with considerable stand off range from enemy troops that might be operating in the area.

However, in order to guarantee adequate situational awareness among the full Pathfinder platoon as well as in the tactical operations centre, AEC Skyline was asked to deploy an Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) server/media gateway combo. The latter equipment provided the essential linkage between the platoon's and higher echelon's various ATAK, WinTAK users.

Meanwhile, the adhoc router streaming box we deployed, combining Peplink's LTE-A with Haivision's video encoding technology, allowed us to distribute UAS video feeds, reports, 2D and 3D overlays. In addition, ATAK users benefitted from Level 2 Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED L2), on- and offline maps. Communications using the devices that have been issued to the pathfinders to run ATAK and other applications, was enabled by our multivendor connectivity simcards, the latter provided through AEC Skyline's Whisper secure roaming services.

AEC Skyline en Logistiek Centrum Woensdrecht slaan de handen ineen voor pilot project

adaptieve krijgsmacht aero l 139 albatrosAEC Skyline heette recent op thuisbasis Groningen Airport Eelde zijn nieuwste aanwinst welkom, een extra Aero L-39 Albatros. Voor het assembleren van het toestel werd eind juni een beroep gedaan op ondersteuning vanuit het Logistiek Centrum Woensdrecht (LCW) van de Koninklijke Luchtmacht. Twee onderhoudsmonteurs van 980 Vliegtuig- en Helikopteronderhoud squadron monteerden onder meer het staartstuk en de vleugels aan de romp van het vliegtuig. Dit alles gebeurde onder supervisie van AEC Skyline's maintenance manager.

Met deze samenwerking met 980 Squadron zet AEC Skyline een eerste stap voor wat betreft het bijdragen aan het concept van de adaptieve krijgsmacht. Naast een sterkere verankering in de samenleving door uitwisseling van personeel, biedt deze nieuwe werkwijze aan Defensie flexibiliteit voor wat betreft benodigde capaciteiten en extra ervaringsopbouw. Dit heeft het oogmerk de inzetbaarheid en het voortzettingsvermogen van de krijgsmacht te verhogen.

AEC Skyline kijkt uit naar een structurele, adaptieve samenwerking. Dit is immers een win-win situatie voor beide partijen aangezien de wisselwerking, met in dit geval LCW, op doelmatige wijze over en weer voorziet in capaciteiten die niet onafgebroken aanwezig hoeven te zijn. Hierdoor kunnen over en weer pieken en dalen worden opgevangen 

AEC Skyline levert met zijn vloot L-39s Close Air Support training voor Joint Terminal Attack Controllers van onder meer de Koninklijke Landmacht en het Korps Mariniers. Het bijzondere aan de komst van de nieuwe L-39 is dat AEC Skyline hiermee een toestel bezit dat nog beschikt over de originele mission computer evenals hardpoints onder de vleugels. Dit stelt ons in staat om bijvoorbeeld daadwerkelijk live BDU oefenbommen af te werpen mocht Defensie daar in de toekomst een beroep op willen doen.

AEC Skyline Supports 2021 Weapons Instructor Course

From 12 to 15 July AEC Skyline deployed two air assets to the Royal Netherlands Air Force's Leeuwarden air base, providing vital support to the final week of the 2021 Weapons Instructor Course's air-to-air phase.

WIC 2021 commenced on 3 May with 24 students from Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway hoping to graduate as fully trained weapon instructors at the end of the course. Actually, six different courses converge during this year's edition with the training of F-16 and C-130 crews now being complemented by the training of F-35 pilots, Patriot surface-to-air missile operators, intelligence staff and Air Battle Managers. This year's course will end on 22 October.

Simulating various Opposing Forces (OPFOR) air-to-ground platforms during the course, AEC Skyline's Learjet 36A and MU-2 linked up daily with a number of fast jets that were used as adversary air assets too. WIC 2021 participants were put to the test during two daily waves with our aircraft's onboard electronic warfare equipment being used to try and disrupt "blue forces" communications.

While on this occasion the Learjet carried jamming pods furnished by NATO's Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS), the MU-2's EW kit consisted of the advanced, internal ASTOR system combined with external pods.

AEC Skyline provides fast air, ISR support and critical data solutions to a wide range of clients including the Netherlands and coalition armed forces, the defence and aerospace industry, as well as to a number of renowned research institutes.

Operating out of Groningen Airport Eelde and Breda Airport, the company offers close air support, EW, “red air” training, target towing and remote sensing together with IT networking, systems integration solutions and consultancy services.

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AEC Skyline en Milrem Robotics bundelen hun krachten

themis observe tethered droneHet Nederlandse defensiebedrijf AEC Skyline en Europa's toonaangevende ontwikkelaar van robotica en autonome systemen Milrem Robotics hebben vorige week een Memorandum of Understanding ondertekend om samen te werken bij de ontwikkeling van onbemande systemen.

De overeenkomst, die werd ondertekend door Stef Have, directeur van AEC Skyline Holding, en Kuldar Väärsi, CEO van Milrem Robotics, baant de weg voor het gezamenlijk ontwikkelen, testen en valideren van producten en software op de werkterreinen van beide partijen.

In het kader van de samenwerkingsovereenkomst zal AEC Skyline optreden als integratiepartner van de producten van Milrem Robotics, waaronder de unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) THeMIS en Multiscope, alsmede het Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle. AEC Skyline zal ook in contact treden met het Nederlandse ministerie van Defensie en met potentiële civiele klanten, voornamelijk in Nederland.

Zes THeMIS UGV's worden intussen al gebruikt door de Robotica & Autonome Systemen (RAS) eenheid van de Koninklijke Landmacht, dit in het kader van een concept development & experimentation (CD&E) programma. Nu willen beide partijen de producten van Milrem Robotics zo positioneren dat ze beantwoorden aan de toekomstige eisen van het Nederlandse ministerie van Defensie, waaronder het gebruik van manned-unmanned teaming.

De partijen onderzoeken de vereisten die kunnen leiden tot de integratie van nieuwe technologieën en payloads, waaronder (tethered) drones, sensoren en bewapening in UGV's. De bedrijven analyseren ook hoe UAV gegevens de door Milrem Robotics ontwikkelde kunstmatige intelligentie en autonome navigatieoplossingen kunnen verbeteren en hun intelligente functies kunnen versterken.

"De tethered drone-technologie van AEC is een welkome aanvulling op de lijst van capaciteiten die nodig zijn bij de ontwikkeling van het European Unmanned Ground System tijdens het iMUGS-project, en daarom heeft Milrem AEC uitgenodigd om met hun technologie een bijdrage te leveren", aldus Kuldar Väärsi, CEO van Milrem Robotics.

themis observe tethered droneStef Have, directeur van AEC Skyline, voegt hieraan toe: "We kijken ernaar uit om bij te dragen aan het productassortiment van Milrem Robotics en belangrijke expertise op het gebied van systeemintegratie toe te voegen aan het partnerschap, dit in nauw contact met de eindgebruiker, zowel militair als civiel."

De bedrijven hebben counter-UAS technologie en de ontwikkeling van een nieuwe geïntegreerde gebruikersinterface reeds geïdentificeerd als specifieke gebieden voor samenwerking.

Over Milrem Robotics

Milrem Robotics is Europa's toonaangevende ontwikkelaar van robotica en autonome systemen. Het bedrijf heeft twee kantoren in Estland, een in Zweden en Finland en binnenkort een in Nederland.

Milrem Robotics is de leider van een consortium dat 30,6 miljoen euro heeft gekregen van het European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) van de Europese Commissie om een Europees gestandaardiseerd unmanned ground system (UGS) te ontwikkelen.

Tijdens het project, dat de naam iMUGS (Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System) meekreeg, zal een modulaire en schaalbare architectuur voor hybride manned-unmanned teaming systemen worden ontwikkeld om zo een Europees ecosysteem te standaardiseren voor lucht- en grondplatformen, commandovoerings-, controle- en communicatieapparatuur, sensoren, payloads en algoritmen.

Over AEC Skyline

AEC Skyline beschikt over uitgebreide expertise op het gebied van netwerken en systeemintegratie. Het bedrijf vertegenwoordigt ook een aantal OEM's, waaronder L3Harris Communications Systems West, Haivision, Persistent Systems en Elistair.

Naast kritieke data-oplossingen levert AEC Skyline Intellligence, Surveillance en Reconnaissance (ISR) en fast air support aan Defensie, de defensie- en luchtvaartindustrie en aan diverse onderzoeksinstituten. De diensten van het bedrijf omvatten onder andere close air support, elektronische oorlogvoering, "red air" training, remote sensing en het slepen van doelen. AEC Skyline’s vloot opereert vanaf Groningen Airport Eelde en Breda International Airport.

AEC Skyline awarded United States Air Force Europe JTAC CAS contract

Thursday 11 February 2021

Operating out of Zweibrücken airport in Germany under a permit issued by German authorities, AEC Skyline’s fleet of upgraded Aero L39 jet trainers has now commenced supporting Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Close Air Support (CAS) training on behalf of the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE). The initial 11 February mission saw one of our L39s supporting training in the US military’s Baumholder training area.

Flying under a contract that could extend to 30 September 2025, our L39s carry a L3Harris Wescam MX-15D EO/IR sensor pod equipped with laser spot tracker as well as night vision devices, IR pointers and UHF, VHF radios to enable both day and night CAS tactical employment capability. Our digital duplex datalink, operating in the L, S, C and Ku frequency bands, provides full support for full motion video and Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) training.

High end training support

Adhering to internationally agreed JTAC standards, performance includes flying up to 320 flying hours per year with a maximum of 12 hours per day. Units being supported are the Warrior Preparation Center’s 4th Combat Training Squadron as well as the 4th Air Support Operations Group and subordinate units with training being performed in primary training areas in Germany and in other European countries if required. Regardless of any repositioning of forces allocated to United States European Command (USEUCOM), AEC Skyline stays committed to providing full, high end training support, hereby ensuring the continuation of training aimed at integrating air combat power and surface fires.

Capable of speeds in excess of 300 knots indicated air speed, sustaining with ease the 4Gs required under the contract, our L39s have the capability to perform tactical manoeuvring to achieve up to 30 degree deliveries that include simulated ordnance release. A time on station in excess of 40 minutes is guaranteed with our aircraft being capable of operating at altitudes well in excess of 10,000 feet MSL, coping with high density altitude environments as well. Now recognised by the USAFE, AEC Skyline’s L39 aircraft are capable of supporting realistic air-to-ground training operations, performing flight manoeuvers that simulate those of modern fighter/attack aircraft, however at much lower cost.


AEC Skyline Supports Manned- Unmanned Teaming efforts of the Dutch Defense Helicopter Command

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On 20, 21 January AEC Skyline’s modified Learjet 36A platform supported a first series of trials linked to the ongoing Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) of the Dutch Defense Helicopter Command’s Block 2 upgraded Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.

Operating over Low Flying Area 7 Veluwe during the trials, the L3 Wescam MX-10 EO/IR sensor pod equipped Learjet aircraft acted as a surrogate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, enabling the helicopter command’s attack helicopter unit to pursue its MUM-T objectives.

They include overall familiarisation, setup and troubleshooting with the MUM-T system that is supported by the Block 2 AH-64D’s on board L3 Harris ROVER 6 five band line of sight video transceiver capability (UHF/L/S/C/Ku band).  On both days the Learjet’s on board Vortex digital duplex multi band datalink, another L3 Harris product, demonstrated it has a high degree of connectivity with ROVER 6, even at long ranges. With the help of the AEC Skyline team specific waveforms supported by ROVER 6 and different data rates are tested during a series of trials.mum t ah64d.1

Subsequent flying saw the Learjet being used for target handovers and in support of the helicopters’ attack profiles with imagery generated by the MX-10 sensor being presented to participating helicopter crews on their multipurpose displays well before reaching their engagement area. Level 2 MUM-T interoperability was thus achieved meaning the direct receipt of data and full motion video from a (surrogate) UAS by a manned helicopter.

These trials pave the way for the advent of the new AH-64E version of the Apache attack helicopter which is destined to enter service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 2022. The Apache remanufacturing programme will introduce a much improved, level 4 MUM-T capability which allows the AH-64E aircrew to control the UAS platform and its payload, except for recovery

AEC Skyline supports trinational SOF exercise in Denmark


AEC Skyline deployed its bespoke ISR services to Denmark in support of the Composite Special Operations Air Task Group (C-SOATG) being trained there during exercise Trojan Phoenix. Held by the Danish, Dutch and Belgian military between 26 October and 6 November, the certification exercise saw AEC Skyline together with Smart Delta company installing an advanced networking solution, hereby enabling the delivery of an ISR feed to Aalborg air base, where the trinational SOF Air C2 element was based. Originating from AEC Skyline’s EO/IR sensor and video downlink equipped Learjet 36 platform, the full motion video feed was distributed by the company’s ground control station to the SOATG, the Exercise Control (EXCON) organisation and the Tactical Operations Center managing US air assets made available for the exercise. In addition, AEC Skyline also deployed one of its inflatable full scale surrogate targets, operating in Central and North Jutland and the island of Bornholm in support of the exercise’s many ISR and Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) scenarios.

Exercise Trojan Phoenix is part of the wider effort by Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium to field a Composite Special Operations Component Command (C-SOCC), a process that commenced in early 2017. During 2021, this SOF headquarters will be on standby to meet any contingency that might require the activation of the NATO Response Force (NRF).

In order to counter the threat posed by Covid-19, all personnel participating in the exercise underwent frequent testing with strict hygiene and distancing measures being enforced.