About Ascent

Who are Ascent?

Ascent Flight Training Ltd is the training design and delivery organisation appointed as the UK MOD’s Training Service Partner. Our sole purpose is to provide the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) for the Armed Forces until 2033. We deliver the UKMFTS programme as part of a unique partnering arrangement with RAF 22 Group and the UKMFTS Project Team within the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation.

Why was Ascent brought on board?

Existing military training has served the Armed Forces well for many years but the drive to reduce cost while preparing crews for ever more sophisticated front-line aircraft was a catalyst for change. The Ministry of Defence realised that innovation in training delivery could be achieved if all military flying training was included in an industry-led, military-backed new training system.

The requirement for an industry led UKMFTS was competed in 2006 and Ascent, a 50/50 joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Babcock International won the contract in May 2008. Alongside our shareholders we are dedicated to this unique task and with our highly capable team we have the unique ability to deliver an innovative training solution to the next generation of UK military aircrew. The UKMFTS delivery model represents a world-class, efficient and innovative partnering agreement between one of the world’s finest air and aviation forces, the Ministry of Defence and a joint venture between two of the world’s most robust defence and support service companies.

One Mission, One Team

Delivering a World Class Military Flying Training System

Strategic Intent

  • Work together in partnership to deliver UKMFTS on time and to cost
  • Optimise time in training, eradicate the training capability gap and maximise efficiency
  • Introduce the new flying training system without disruption to operational output
  • Produce highly motivated, capable, agile and adaptable military aircrew
  • Be innovative and challenging in the delivery of UKMFTS

Our Partnership

We work in a unique partnership with the MOD to deliver a world class UKMFTS and are co-located on our military sites and also at our training hub in Bristol.  We maintain a keen eye on the customer requirement and this informs all that we do as we prepare our students to transfer to their Operational Conversion units.

Our partnership is central to the outstanding success of the UKMFTS programme and allows us to exchange valuable information with military partners to achieve an optimised output in line with military output standards.

Ministry of Defence through RAF 22 Group. Maintains the training output requirements and standards whilst providing elements such as airfields, fuel and instructors - is the 'end user'.

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). Provides contracting oversight and assurance.

Ascent (Babcock and Lockheed Martin). MOD appointed Training Service Partner (TSP), designs the overall systems and delivers the training capability.

Our Shareholders

Lockheed Martin

We are a 50/50 joint venture owned by Babcock and Lockheed Martin.

Our Suppliers

  • Affinity (aircraft service provider for Fixed Wing)
  • Airbus Helicopters UK (aircraft service provider for Rotary Wing)
  • Babcock (infrastructure and IT supplier)
  • Cobham (aircraft service provider for Rear Crew)
  • Lockheed Martin (ground based training equipment and simulation provider)

Diversity and Inclusion

At Ascent we value and promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. We recognise that diversity and inclusion creates an innovative, productive, engaged and high performing workplace. We continue to review our diversity and inclusion data and our workplace practices. We are committed to continuously improve and action initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion at Ascent.

Gender Pay Gap Report

As part of our commitment to gender equality in the workplace we have completed and published our FY18/19 Gender Pay Gap Report. We acknowledge one of our challenges in improving our gender demographics is the requirement for candidates applying for certain flying roles to have previous military experience. This is a barrier we continue to overcome through fair and consistent recruitment practices.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Our diversity and inclusion targets are incorporated into our organisational strategy.
  • Inclusion is embedded within the One Ascent Team.
  • We use our diversity and inclusion data to inform our actions to deliver the most effective results.
  • We use skill-based assessment tasks and structured interviews for recruitment and promotions to ensure a fair and consistent process.
  • We use Myers Briggs profiles to understand and respect each other’s preferred working style.
  • We promote a flexible workplace through a 9/10 working pattern as well as other informal and formal flexible working patterns.
  • We offer enhanced maternity and paternity pay to help support our people.
  • We have implemented diversity training for Leadership and for all our people including Unconscious Bias and Leading with Credibility training.

Ascent COVID-19 Risk Assessment Summary

 Ascent has made available its COVID-19 risk assessment to all employees and others within our facilities, demonstrating that the company fully conforms to Government guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. The Government guidance falls into five distinct categories: requiring a respective risk assessment, with the results communicated; clear cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place; facilitating home working where feasible; maintaining social distancing on site; and a management process to mitigate the transmission risk.

The risk assessments, performed by a cross-functional team and under the direction of Ascent’s Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager, highlighted the need for modifications within Ascent’s training and central office facilities. This allows two-metre distance between workers where practicable, and one-way movement paths and traffic flows were facility design allows. Additional signage in all washrooms across facilities continually reinforces the need to undertake more frequent hand washing and in addition, the provision of hand sanitiser stations/dispensers have been made available to support optimal cleansing protocols.

Within Ascent controlled facilities, face coverings are now available, while Ascent will maintain a work from home policy for those who are able to. The robust measures will ensure Ascent staff stay as safe as practicable at all times. There is also an enhanced cleaning routine and clear guidance to the workforce on limiting the risk of infection on areas such as room capacities, facility access and travel. In relevant work areas where distancing is more challenging, plastic partitions – designed and manufactured by Babcock International – now offer segregation between colleagues in addition to control measures limiting capacity and distanced seating. There are also new measures to control the population density within facilities at any one time with all entry and exit points reviewed and reconfigured to disperse the volume of people where possible.


Career Opportunities at Ascent