More than a billion pounds is to be invested by the Ministry of Defence to continue the modernisation of military flying training in the UK.
The new Fixed Wing flying training system will provide modern training aircraft as well as up-to-date ground based training devices such as simulators and classroom learning for aircrew across the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and Army Air Corps.
A £1.1 billion contract has been placed with Ascent Flight Training to design, deliver and manage the Fixed Wing training service until 2033 and is expected to provide roughly 200 jobs across the UK, particularly at the key training bases.
Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said:
“This is fantastic news for the future of our military aircrew, providing them with a modern training system which will equip them to deliver on the front line.
“With our strong commitment to air power as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review and our investment of £178 billion in equipment over the next 10 years, this contract is further proof of our commitment to invest in the UK’s defence capabilities for the future, ensuring that we continue to be a world leader in military flying training.”
The contract, which will cover provision of Elementary Flying Training, Basic Flying Training and Multi-Engine Pilot Training, will deliver through a single prime contractor, ensuring coherent delivery of the training system.
Air Marshal Sir Baz North, the Senior Responsible Owner for UKMFTS, added:
“The UK MFTS Fixed Wind Contract provides enhanced synthetic and live flying training for the UK’s military aircrew out to 2033. The service employs modern, adaptable and sustainable systems which exploit the advantages of the simulated environment to prepare our aircrew to meet the challenges of future combat operations.
Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray, Director of Combat Air at the MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support said:
“This contract will replace legacy fleets of aircraft with new, modern platforms that better replicate the aircraft used by front line operational squadrons.
“Up-to-date training methods will also be developed to ensure that students are able to progress to operational training more efficiently and provide value for money.
Multi-Engine Pilot Training will be in place from mid-2018 and Basic Flying Training element up and running by early 2019.
Ascent, selected as the MOD’s flying training partner in 2008, will be required to deliver the instruction, infrastructure and support required to provide flying training across the three Armed Services until 2033.