Hanga Talk Airbus Helicopters Selected for UK’s Military Flying Training

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 over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver aircraft and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months. 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 theaters 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 training requirement. The two types, already a favorite for military helicopter training in the U.S., Australia, and Germany, among many other partner nations, incorporate the latest technology, allowing crews to perform the widest envelope of training from basic flying to offshore nighttime 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.

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

Paul Livingston, managing director of Ascent said, “We were left in no doubt that Airbus Helicopters’ competitive offer was the best choice for the rotary-wing element of UKMFTS. 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.”

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters said, “I welcome Ascent’s decision to entrust the provision of aircraft and full service support to Airbus Helicopters. This builds on our growing strategic relationship with the UK and the British government, to whom I express my personal thanks, and strengthens the position of the H135 and H145 family of aircraft as the platforms of choice for military flight training worldwide.”

Colin James, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK said, “As demonstrated across the globe, our dedicated focus on customer success, coupled with the outstanding performance of our H135 and H145 aircraft, will ensure that the MOD will benefit from best-in-class training assets. Airbus Helicopters is today Britain’s leading civil helicopter company and, by leveraging our expertise in the development and support of the UK’s emergency, police, and military helicopter fleets, our highly skilled British workforce will deliver an unmatched helicopter service provision for UKMFTS.”

Rotorcraft Support Inc. Adds Sikorsky S-76 Service Center

Rotorcraft Support Inc. (RSI) continues to add to its lengthy list of OEM Authorized Service Centers with the addition of the Sikorsky S-76 series of helicopters. “We have been maintaining the S-76 for years, adding the service center rounds out our service and support capabilities for the S-76 customers” comments Phillip G. DiFiore, president and owner of Rotorcraft Support. After 30 years in business, RSI has grown to provide support to all segments of the helicopter industry from utility, EMS, law enforcement, and corporate operations. The S-76 customers can look forward to the same level of commitment and service that has come to be expected from Rotorcraft Support.

With the addition of the S-76 series, RSI has built one of the most diverse OEM service center portfolios in the industry that includes Bell Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland, MD Helicopters, Enstrom, Robinson, SB47, and Rolls Royce.

18 May/June 2016

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