£80m Invested In MOD Helicopter Training Equipment

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has confirmed it is investing £80m in new equipment to help train the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter pilots and rear crews of the future.

A £51m contract with Lockheed Martin UK will support Chinook Mk 6 training, while a £29m contract has been awarded to AgustaWestland to provide Merlin Mk 4/4a aircrew Synthetic Training Devices.

The simulators will be situated at military bases in Somerset and Hampshire with the two contracts providing around 130 jobs, including for the construction of a new schoolhouse.

The Chinook Mk 6 synthetic training service will be housed in a purpose-built facility at RAF Odiham in Hampshire and will include two flight deck device simulators, a rear crew training device and a suite of computer based training facilities.

The contract with Lockheed Martin UK includes two years for the design and production of the equipment and the training facility, with a follow on 10-year training service support package.

It is said the equipment will provide a "realistic representation of the operating environments the crews will fly in, and will enable them to practice manoeuvres and procedures safely and repeatedly to enhance their learning."

Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, said: "We are providing our Armed Forces with one of the most capable and technologically advanced helicopter fleets in the world, and to complement this, it is essential that we also provide them with very best and latest training.

"Alongside essential flying experience, these world-class simulators will play a vital role in ensuring our people are capable, competent and ready to deploy on operations around the globe.

"Over the last year, we are very proud to have delivered a number of new helicopter capabilities to our Armed Forces, and we plan to invest a further £11 billion over the next decade to sustain and further improve our fleet."


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