Discovery Air Defence

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Discovery Air Defence
Industry Specialized Aviation
Founded 2000
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Paul Bouchard, President

Discovery Air Defence, 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. Discovery Air Defence 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, U.S. and German militaries.[1] It also provides electronic warfare training and tactics development, and supports advanced radar trials in nationally controlled environments.[2]

Canadian Armed Forces personnel are authorized to fly on board Discovery Air Defence fighter aircraft.[3]

Alpha Jet line up in Top Aces colours


Discovery Air Defence was founded in 2000 by three former Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter pilots. In 2005, Discovery Air Defence signed a $94-million contract with the Canadian Armed Forces to supply contracted combat support and adversary training.[4] In 2014, the company signed a contract to provide fast jet airborne training services to the German Armed Forces for five years.[5]


Discovery Air Defence operates the largest privately owned operational fighter plane fleet in the world. Discovery Air Defence 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:

Discovery Air Defence 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 Listed by Transport Canada as the Israel 1124


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