The United Kingdom has ordered a further four Airbus Helicopters H145 Jupiter training helicopters to add to the three already received, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 21 January.
The new helicopters, along with 29 smaller H135 Junos, are used to instruct pilots on the rotary-wing (RW) portion of the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS) programme. The units were ordered for GBP183 million (USD239 million).
The deal also includes a new simulator and infrastructure at Royal Air Force (RAF) Shawbury in Shropshire where the helicopters are located and tri-service UKMFTS RW pilot training carried out. The infrastructure improvements will cater for the increased student numbers, the MoD said.
Under UKMFTS RW, Ascent Flight Training is now providing helicopter training services to the MoD through to 2033, using the twin-engined H135 and H145 helicopters to replace the former single-engined Airbus Helicopters H125 (formerly AS/EC350) Squirrel and twin-engined Bell 412EP.
As with the other fixed-wing components of the UKMFTS programme, UKMFTS RW covers helicopter training across all three of the UK's armed services and has involved the manufacture and delivery of aircraft; the provision of instructors; the building of infrastructure ahead of the training of RAF, Fleet Air Arm (FAA), and British Army Air Corps (AAC) crews; and maintenance personnel.
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