New helicopter deal boosts UK’s investment in military flying training to £2.8 bn

Posted On: 20th May 2016

A new contract worth around £1.1bn has been awarded to UK industry to supply rotary wing training to the Armed Forces.
As announced by Babcock International Group to the stock exchange this morning, it brings the value of Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts with Ascent Flight Training to £2.8bn. Their work delivering the four core elements of future military flying training will sustain 500 UK jobs.Philip Dunne

The £1.1bn rotary wing contract, awarded by the MOD to Ascent, will pave the way for the design, delivery and management of a new military helicopter aircrew training service until the early 2030s.

It will see the delivery of Airbus H135 and H145 training aircraft, and install new infrastructure and ground-based equipment at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire to train future aircrew to use aircraft such as Apache, Chinook, Merlin and Wildcat. It will also support a further 220 jobs, on top of the 280 already established by the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS).

Today’s announcement follows February’s award of a £1.1bn contract for fixed wing training, which will prepare future aircrew to fly aircraft such as Atlas, Voyager, Typhoon and Lightning II.

The award means all core training elements within UKMFTS, which covers training for rotary wing, fixed wing, fast jet and rear crew, are now under contract with a total value of £2.8bn.

Find more information here.

Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said:

“This is the final element in re-fashioning the UK Military Flying Training System into a state-of-the-art structure to develop suitably qualified aircrew to secure the future of air elements of our Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Our Armed Forces will benefit from consistent, world class training across the board. It will ready them for the next stage of their careers and equip them with the skills they need to deploy on operations around the globe.

“A £2.8 billion Defence investment with Ascent in the four core elements of this training system has, and will, bring new aircraft and new facilities to the UK, as well as sustaining around 500 jobs across the country. Supported by our rising Defence budget, which went up for the first time in six years in March 2016, these contracts will ensure that the UK continues to be a world leader in military flying training.”

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