One mission. One team.
Existing military training had served the UK Armed Forces well for many years, but the drive to reduce costs whilst preparing aircrews for more sophisticated front-line aircraft was a catalyst for change.
Ascent Flight Training was appointed in 2008 to design and deliver a modern and efficient flying training system by the UK MOD. Created as a joint venture between Lockheed Martin UK AND Babcock International; and is responsible within the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS) for the training design and training delivery that creates the next generation of aircrew.
We work in the UKMFTS partnership alongside DE&S (the MOD’s procurement agency), Air Command and 22 Group as one team.
It is through our talented people whose focus is to ensure that students gain the knowledge and skills to prepare for their frontline roles that their dreams become a reality.
One Vision, Shared Partners
Our vision is to see capable and passionate minds achieve their dreams – to become one of the world’s best pilots and mission aircrew, working for the UK and its citizens; supporting the on-going sustainment of the UK’s air defence and emergency flight capabilities, both at home and around the world.
One Team, Many homes
The Bristol Support Hub
Our Headquarters based in Bristol is where all the essential business services such as governance and finance, programmes, commercial, communications, HR and admin take place to ensure smooth running of our operational sites.
RAF Cranwell and RAF Barkston Heath
This is the starting point for all military aviation training within UKMFTS; and courses delivered here cover Elementary Flying Training (EFT) conducted in the Grob 120 TP (Prefect), and Multi-Engine Pilot and Rear Crew training in the Embraer 100 (Phenom).
We have created a purpose-built operational building which houses a modern, state of the art learning environment for the students. Ascent staff with UKMFTS partnering organisations ensure the best instruction is provided by experts in their field at every stage.
Typical course duration is between 4 weeks – 6 months, and trainees can expect to be at Cranwell for a little over a year.
RAF Barkston Heath, a short distance down the road, just off the A17 provides additional training capacity for the Prefect.
Located on Anglesey, North Wales, RAF Valley has a long, illustrious history of pilot training and is the current home of Fast Jet Phase 4 training. It is the most complex of all Ascent’s training sites as operates 3 different aircraft types across 3 separate programmes.
Ascent designs and delivers bespoke courseware and training materials to support all of these for both students and trainee instructors.
The architect- designed Moran Building Squadron Headquarters procured by Ascent is home to deliver Hawk T2 Groundschool and Flight Simulator Training.
RAF Valley is also home to the Maritime Unit, delivering specialist training as an element of Rotary Wing training conducted at RAF Shawbury flying Airbus 145 helicopters in a tri-service environment.
Texan T6 courses completes the third area of training conducted at RAF Valley, providing basic fast Jet Training.
RNAS Culdrose is home to the Royal Navy’s Merlins plus a sizable proportion of its Sea Kings. Culdrose – just outside Helston on the Lizard Peninsula – is the largest helicopter base in Europe with some 75 aircraft and 3,000 personnel. It is the biggest single-site employer in Cornwall, pumping £100m into the local economy every year.
Training is conducted on a specially adapted King Air 350ER (Avenger) equipped with a Tactical Mission Trainer Suit, that is replicated on the ground as part of a ground-based training environment.
Courses cover observer training, sensor operator training in addition to flying training.
1 FTS, RAF Shawbury
In the course of of a typical year around 1000 students from across UK Defence and international partners go through helicopter training at RAF Shawbury.
Basic Rotary Wing training including all aspects of helicopter crew training for all three military services is provided using Airbus H135 & 145 helicopters and ground based training equipment.
The newly built Duke of Cambridge School building houses state of the art classroom facilities, synthetics and operations support.
Mountain training may be operated out of RAF Valley.
Advanced training tactical exercises are also conducted around Salisbury Plain at Army Air Corps, Middle Wallop near the end of their training for Army Air Corps pilots and rear crew.
Teamwork and collaborative working is vital in a dispersed organisation, and our 320 strong workforce all demonstrate our values of one team, responsive, respectful and safety first.
We value diversity, and believe our people are our key business assets. Here is a selection of our team members sharing how their roles contribute to what we do.