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UK expands UKMFTS contract with Affinity

Student pilots and instructors at RAF Valley shortly after completing a training sortie aboard the Textron T-6 Texan II. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has expanded its UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) with Affinity Flying Training Services (AFTS), awarding a further GBP65 million (USD88 million) on 8 November.

The uplift for the 50/50 joint venture of Elbit Systems UK and Kellogg Brown and Root Limited covers for 12 years of operation of four additional Textron T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft received in 2020.

โ€œThe addition and operation of the new aircraft will provide increased training support and an uplift in training and flight hours for the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme, with full capability in place by 2024,โ€ AFTS said. โ€œThis expansion of delivery capacity follows the procurement of four Texan T-6C aircraft from Textron Aviation Defense, which have been kept in readiness. The four additional Texan T-6C aircraft will be operated predominantly from Affinity's site at RAF Valley, where they will join the 10 existing Texans that are already in service.โ€

AFTS uses the Texan II aircraft to deliver the Fixed-Wing portion of the UKMFTS programme for Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) pilots on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its Ascent Flight Training partner.

The Texan II forms the second in a three-node training system that sees students perform their primary flight training on Grob 120TP Prefect piston-engined platforms before progressing onto the Texan II and then the BAE Systems Hawk T2.

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