Contracts announced today worth more than a billion pounds have secured the future of the UK military’s fixed wing flying training.
Ascent, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will deliver the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) through to 2033. The MOD has today announced a total investment of £1.1 billion that will enable Ascent to deliver the fixed wing element of training at key military sites across the UK.
As part of this investment, a contract worth approximately £500 million has been signed with Affinity who will provide the aircraft that will be used at different stages of the training. Affinity, which is a joint venture between Kellogg Brown and Root Ltd and Elbit Systems UK, will provide three aircraft types as well as their maintenance and support.
Contracts have also been awarded to Lockheed Martin and Babcock who have been selected to deliver all of the ground based training equipment and infrastructure to support the delivery of the fixed wing training capability.
Once fully operational in 2019, fixed wing flying training will see students conduct Elementary Flying Training on the Grob 120TP ‘Prefect’ before going on to complete either Multi Engine Pilot Training on the Embraer ‘Phenom’ 100 or Basic Flying Training on the Beechcraft ‘Texan’ T-6C.
Managing Director of Ascent, Paul Livingston said:
“The award of these contracts marks a key milestone for the Fixed Wing element of UKMFTS. Modern training aircraft selected specifically to meet the bespoke needs of the UK’s Armed Forces will deliver optimised training alongside high tech simulators and classroom trainers.”
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.”
KBR Government Services Lead UK, Andrew Barrie said:
“Working with Ascent and the MOD, Affinity will deliver a step-change in capability, delivering modern digital aircraft which will enhance the training experience of the modern military pilot.
I am delighted that following our selection as preferred bidder only a little over a year ago we have reached Financial Close on this complex PFI project.”
As well as aircraft, Ascent is delivering the qualified instructors, infrastructure, course-ware and support for fixed wing and rotary wing pilots and rear crew as part of a 25 year UKMFTS programme. Using a uniquely innovative approach that will better prepare recruits for their transfer to front-line squadrons; students will conduct a mix of live and synthetic training as part of the optimised training design which is applied to the whole UKMFTS programme and allows live flying hours to be downloaded, achieving significant cost savings as well as a truly bespoke training solution.