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Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced a £183 million (€215 million) contract to boost military helicopter training services on 21 January.

The amendments to an existing contract with Ascent Flight Training Management, which manages the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS) on behalf of the MoD, include:

• An additional four Airbus H145 helicopters;

• A state-of-the-art simulator and infrastructure improvements;

• Support for recruitment and training to meet the increased helicopter demand from the frontline.

The new helicopters and simulator, to be based at RAF Shawbury, where the rotary wing element of UKMFTS I delivered, 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. In 2018, Airbus delivered 29 H135s and three H145s for the programme.

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,” stated Cdre Tom Manson, UKMFTS Head at Defence Equipment & Support.

The H145 family, which also includes the BK117 and EC145, consists of well-proven training aircraft with more than 1,300 helicopters in service around the world and over 5.5 million flight hours. (Photo: Crown copyright)

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