Aircraft mentioned in this article :
UK Ministry of Defence, January 22, 2020 - The Ministry of Defence (MOD) UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) has signed a £183 million contract to boost training services for new Rotary Wing pilots.
The contract amendment includes:
- An uplift of four new Airbus H145 helicopters
- A state-of-the-art simulator and infrastructure improvements
- Support in attracting and training personnel to meet the increased helicopter demand from the frontline
The new H145 helicopters and simulator will enable students to learn how to fly a range of missions, covering expected scenarios on operational deployment. In addition, the H145s enable students to practice winching tasks and rear crew activities.
Defence Minister James Heappey said: “This £183 million boost for our helicopter training will see our student pilots benefit from an ultra-modern simulator, new infrastructure at RAF Shawbury and four brand-new Airbus H145 helicopters. These crucial upgrades will help our students become the finest helicopter pilots in the world.”
he Rotary Wing contract amendment was signed by UKMFTS - part of Defence, Equipment & Support (DE&S) - and Ascent Flight Training Management Ltd, which delivers pilot training for the UKMFTS in a partnering arrangement. It is part of a wider programme to increase training capacity for UK military pilots overall, as part of the £3.2 billion UKMFTS programme and helps address the increased demand for pilot training identified in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
The four new H145 helicopters and simulator will be based at RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, which is where the Rotary Wing element of UKMFTS is delivered. The infrastructure improvements will cater for the increased student numbers.
Commodore Tom Manson, UKMFTS Head, Defence Equipment & Support, said: “I am delighted to uplift the capacity of our tri-service military helicopter pilot training services that we deliver in partnership with Ascent. The new twin-engine Airbus H145s will enhance the current mix of H135 and H145s that are used on UKMFTS, providing increased flexibility to deliver the range of training required for both pilots and aircrewmen in advance of flying front line helicopters.”
The H145 family (BK117, EC145 and H145) is a well-proven training aircraft with more than 1,300 helicopters in service around the world and has clocked more than 5.5 million flight hours.
The UKMFTS Programme is delivering a world-class, state-of-the-art training system which is a global exemplar for training aircrew in preparation for the operational front line.
United Kingdom MFTS orders four more H145s
Airbus - Oxford – Airbus Helicopters in the UK is to provide four additional H145 helicopters as part of an expansion of the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS).
The new helicopters will join the existing fleet of 29 H135s and three H145s, known respectively as Juno and Jupiter in UKMFTS service. They will be delivered during 2020.
Operated by Ascent Flight Training Management Ltd primarily from RAF Shawbury and also RAF Valley on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, the aircraft are used to train all UK military helicopter pilots and rear crew.
Airbus Helicopters is fully embedded at both bases as the rotary wing aircraft service provider to Ascent.
Managing director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK, Colin James, said: “The H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter are demonstrating day-in and day-out their exceptional reliability and versatility in the training role at UKMFTS. It’s deeply satisfying for us to see the first aircrew having already graduated and we look forward to delivering the additional aircraft in the very near future.”
The H145 helicopter family has completed more than 5.5 million flight hours worldwide with more than 1,300 aircraft in the global fleet.
The H145 Jupiter HT.1 (Airbus EC145T2) seen here with the smaller H135 Juno HT.1 (Airbus EC135T3)