Ascent Consortium named as preferred bidder for £10bn UK military flying training project

The government has appointed its preferred bidder for the £10bn UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) project.

The 25-year contract aims to modernise flight training for Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army aircrew. It aims to reduce overall costs by bringing together the current range of fragmented training schemes into a cohesive, more effective package.

Defence minister Lord Drayson has appointed the Ascent Consortium, comprising the defence contractor VT Group and defence giant Lockheed Martin, as the UKMFTS preferred bidder.

Lord Drayson said: “The project will exploit the strengths of Ministry of Defence and industry to deliver flying training that will ensure our aircrew retain their leading-edge operational skills. We look forward to taking forward contract negotiations with the Ascent Consortium.”

Contract award will be subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations. This is the first step in a multi-billion pound programme to overhaul military flying training.

The UKMFTS programme will span 25 years and cover the different training needs of the entire flying element of the UK front line, from jet pilots and weapons systems operators, to all rear crew disciplines.

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