I am pleased to announce the award of a £1.1 billion contract with Ascent Flight Training, the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) partner, and its supply chain, for a designed and managed fixed wing flying training service until 2033.
Ascent is a joint venture (50:50) between Babcock and Lockheed Martin (UK). Ascent has placed a sub-contract worth some £500 million with Affinity Flying Training Services, a joint venture (50:50) between Elbit Systems (UK) and Kellogg Brown and Root Ltd, to provide three aircraft types as well as aircraft maintenance and support.
This contract secures the continued provision and modernisation of fixed wing elementary flying training from 2017, basic flying training from 2019, and multi-engine pilot training from 2018, to military aircrew from all three services. This will be supported by the procurement of three modern training aircraft types; the Grob 120 TP “Prefec”, Beechcraft “Texan” T-6C and Embraer “Phenom” 100, to replace a number of ageing aircraft types currently in service, as well as simulators and ground-based training environment equipment, incorporating modern digital training technology.
This is a significant milestone for the UKMFTS programme. Drawing on efficiencies identified in the current military flying training system, this contract will rationalise commercial processes, optimise the time spent by military students in training and enable them to progress through their training programmes more quickly and cost effectively.
The 2015 strategic defence and security review reconfirmed our commitment to air power as an integral component of joint force 2025. This contract represents a significant investment in future military flying training and will ensure that our aircrew are provided with the world-class training they deserve, to enable them to undertake operational roles across a range of front line aircraft types and ensure their continued success on the front line.