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Ascent opens new infrastructure as UK looks to ramp up pilot training

Among other training devices, the new building extension at RAF Valley will house a simulator for the Texan II trainer aircraft. (Crown Copyright)

Ascent Flight Training has opened new infrastructure at Royal Air Force (RAF) Valley in Wales as the UK looks to increase its pilot training capacity.

The opening of the building extension that will house a simulator and other training devices was announced on 12 June, with Ascent noting it is part of a wider GBP175 million (USD220 million) investment in the UK Military Flight Training System (MFTS) programme.

“Ascent's industry partners from Babcock International and Kier have extended existing infrastructure to house new simulators, additional instructors, and other facilities for basic flying training, to enable an uplift in training capacity,” the training provider announced. “Alongside this, the existing facility has been upgraded to provide increased mission planning capacity and improved facilities for trainees, instructors, and other staff.”

The extended facility will house a dome simulator for the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft, as well as a flying training device built by Lockheed Martin that is scheduled to arrive at RAF Valley later in 2023. The wider Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) project of which this extended building is a part is designed to increase basic flight training throughput of trainee pilots by almost 50%, Ascent said.

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