The first students to enter the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) will arrive at Royal Air Force station (RAF) Barkston Heath later this month, less than two years since Ascent Flight Training was awarded the contract to train Royal Naval Observers.
UKMFTS offers a modern and streamlined flight training solution for the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps by consolidating all phases of aircrew instruction for the three services. MFTS is a partnership between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Ascent – a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Babcock International.
“This major milestone launches the first pipeline for a single training system for all three military services,” said Sir Barry Thornton, Managing Director of Ascent Flight Training. The Rear Crew Training (RCT) pipeline beginning now is one of multiple pipelines that will prepare military air crew for all air platforms with high standards and great efficiency.”
Since contract award, Ascent and its subcontractors Lockheed Martin, Babcock and Cobham, have designed the training course; developed the courseware and lessons; acquired and modified four new Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft (The “Avenger”); acquired and developed new ground and airborne tactical mission trainers; introduced a new training management information system; recruited and trained both military and civilian instructors and refurbished the infrastructure at RAF Barkston Heath and Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose.
The initial group of six Royal Navy Maritime Helicopter Observers will begin the Ascent-managed RCT pipeline with a four-week Common Core Ground School course with 703 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) at RAF Barkston Heath. The ground school includes instruction in topics such as Aviation Communication, Meteorology, Navigation Theory, Theory of Flight and Aircraft Systems.
Following the ground course, students will transition to Initial Flying Training and Elementary Navigation Training, both with the Grob 115E single-engine aircraft. A 15-week Basic Flight Training programme follows with 750 NAS at RNAS Culdrose, and includes simulator exercises on a tactical ground trainer and approximately 50 hours of live flying on the maritime variant of the Beech King Air 350ER aircraft.
Upon graduation from 750 NAS, the students will then move to one of the Royal Navy’s Helicopter Operational Conversion Units where they will prepare for front line operational tours of duty on Sea King ASaC, Maritime Lynx or Merlin helicopters.
The RCT pipeline is the first in a series of training programmes the UKMFTS will deliver, including Advanced Jet Training, Multi-Engine Pilot Training and Rotary Training programmes.
Posted on: 09/06/11