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Airbus Helicopters Selected For UK’s Military Flight Training

Contract Valued At £500 Million Over 17 Years

Airbus Helicopters in the UK has been selected by Ascent as the Aircraft Service Provider for the UK’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). The contract, worth £500 million (approx. $727 million) over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver aircraft and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months, ready to start training in April 2018. This will involve the manufacture of aircraft in addition to developing the support infrastructure and training initial crews and maintenance personnel.

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’. From 2018 onwards, Airbus Helicopters will support Ascent’s delivery of a key capability for the UK MOD. Helicopters have played a fundamental role in virtually all operational scenarios and theatres for many years and this new capability will prepare 121 pilots and 99 rear crew per year to successfully follow their predecessors.

As part of the contract, Airbus Helicopters will supply a fleet of H135 and H145 capable of delivering the 28,000 hours per year necessary to meet the training requirement. The two types, already a favourite for military helicopter training in the US, Australia and Germany among many other partner nations, incorporate the latest technology, allowing the crews to perform the widest envelope of training from basic flying to offshore, night time operations. Furthermore, through the UKMFTS contract, the UK will be the first country to receive the newly updated H135 Helionix, Airbus Helicopters’ advanced avionics kit which increases performance and improves safety.

“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," said Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne. "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.”

“We were left in no doubt that Airbus Helicopters competitive offer was the best choice for the rotary wing element of UKMFTS," said Paul Livingston, Managing Director Ascent. "I have high expectations of Airbus Helicopters as it is my priority to ensure that this selection provides the UK’s future military aircrew and our instructors the best training solution available.”

(Image provided with Airbus Helicopters news release)

FMI: www.airbushelicopters.co.uk

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