UK announces £1.1bn military training contracts
The UK MOD’s training service partner, Ascent, has announced contracts worth £1.1bn for the rotary wing element of the UK’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). Ascent – a joint venture between Babcock International and Lockheed Martin –provides the Military Flying Training System for the UK’s Armed Forces in partnership with Royal Air Force No 22 (Training) Group and the UKMFTS Project Team from the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organization, DE&S.
Airbus Helicopters in the UK has been selected as the Aircraft Service Provider under a contract worth £500m over 17 years. The contract calls for Airbus Helicopters to deliver 29 H135 and three H145 aircraft and an integrated support solution. Training is scheduled to start in April 2018.
Contracts have also been awarded to Lockheed Martin and Babcock who will deliver the ground-based training equipment and infrastructure to support the delivery of the rotary wing training capability.
Over the last 35 years, all UK military helicopter pilots have been trained on Airbus Helicopters, initially with the Gazelle and subsequently with the H125 ‘Squirrel’. The new capability will be designed to prepare 121 pilots and 99 rear crew per year. The fleet of H135s and H145s will be required to deliver 28,000 hours per year to meet the training requirement.