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New Helicopter Deal Boosts UK's Investment in Military Flying Training to £2.8b

23 May 2016

A new contract worth around £1.1 billion has been awarded to UK industry to supply rotary wing training to the Armed Forces.

It brings the value of MOD contracts with Ascent Flight Training to £2.8 billion. Their work delivering the four core elements of future military flying training will sustain 500 UK jobs.

The £1.1 billion 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).

The announcement follows February’s award of a £1.1 billion 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 £2.8 billion.

Under the new contract, aircrew across the three Services will continue to conduct their basic and advanced rotary training at RAF Shawbury and Army Air Corps Middle Wallop. Aircrew selected for training in mountain and maritime helicopter operations will receive instruction at RAF Valley.

Ascent is a 50/50 joint venture between Babcock and Lockheed Martin.

Source: MOD