Affinity Flying Training Services announced today (2nd Feb, 2016) it has been awarded a fixed price contract to support Ascent Flight Training in the delivery of the Fixed Wing element of the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS) programme with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The UKMFTS programme is delivered under an innovative partnering agreement between UK Front Line Commands, UK MOD and Ascent to deliver aircrew training for the 21st century.

The joint venture between KBR and Elbit Systems – Affinity Flying Training Services – has been appointed to optimise the fixed wing aircraft provision for the UK MOD under the UKMFTS delivery programme and to reduce the cost of pilot training. Affinity will procure, operate and maintain aircraft and aircraft related infrastructure, through to 2033. The training aircraft will be the Grob G 120TP ‘Prefect’ for elementary flying training, the Beechcraft ‘Texan’ T-6C for basic flying training and the Embraer ‘Phenom’ 100 for multi-engine pilot training.

Andrew Barrie, who leads the KBR Government Services business in the United Kingdom said:

“KBR’s standing in the aviation sphere enables it to select platforms and service solutions tailored to the needs of clients where value and performance outcomes are the key determinants in defining the success of the project. I am delighted that following our selection as preferred bidder only a little over a year ago we have reached Financial Close on this complex PFI project. We look forward to playing a long term role in supporting Ascent and the UK MOD to deliver world class military flying training by providing efficient modern aircraft.”

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, said:

“We are very proud to take part in such an important project for the UK MOD. This award attests to Elbit’s leading position as a provider of advanced avionics systems and training infrastructure, as well as maintenance and logistics support services”. Machlis added:”The UK is one of Elbit’s primary markets. The award of the contract to deliver this key programme for the UK’s armed forces is a significant recognition of Elbit’s proven ability to adapt and deliver innovative global solutions to meet the specific needs of the UK market and customer. Acting with our partners in Affinity, we are already driving ahead to ensure the delivery of this critical capability”.

Affinity, under the leadership of Managing Director Iain Chalmers, will manage and deliver the full fixed wing training aircraft fleet and maintenance programme. Affinity’s service will support the UKMFTS desire to download training tasks from front-line aircraft to cost effective training aircraft and provide the required step-change in aircraft turn around and scheduling to support optimised aircrew training hours. Thirty-eight modern, glass cockpit aircraft will be delivered in a phased approach over the next three years comprising 23 Grob G 120TP ‘Prefects’, 10 Beechcraft ‘Texan’ T-6Cs s and 5 Embraer ‘Phenom’ 100 jets – all featuring digital cockpits, exposing students at an early stage to the technologies they will rely on at the operational level.

Revenue associated with this project is estimated to be circa £500 million – which will be split evenly between the two joint venture partners.