Airborne Training Services provide the Adversary Force that is required to exercise and train a modern, operationally capable, multi-purpose combat force.
Historically, airborne training services were provided by the Air Force Combat Support Squadrons using the CC-144 Challenger and CT-133 Silver Star aircraft. In 1999 the Canadian Government made a decision to contract out core operationally required airborne training services in an effort to minimize their costs.
In 2000 the Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) project was initiated, its goal was to put in place a long-term contract to provide the necessary airborne training to the Canadian Armed Forces. After an initial CATS procurement effort found no bidders to be technically compliant a second effort was put forward in early 2004 under the heading of the “Interim Contracted Airborne Training Services (ICATS)”. ICATS established the criteria and processes to be used to fulfill the training requirements for the Canadian Armed Forces a combination of fast jet (T1, military style) and slow jet (T2, business style) aircraft.
On February 23rd, 2005, the Government of Canada awarded three national standing offers to Discovery Air Defence (formerly Top Aces) to provide T1 airborne training services to the Canadian Armed Forces. The standing offers are for a period of three years, with two one-year options to renew. The offer involved providing training utilizing fast jet style aircraft to the Canadian Armed Forces. DA Defence was the only bidder found to be compliant in any area of competition.
On March 1st, 2006 the Government of Canada awarded Discovery Air Defence the fourth and fifth national standing offers to provide airborne training services for the Canadian Armed Forces, designated T2, as with the three T1 standing offers. This offer was also for a period of three years, with two one-year options to renew.