Airbus Military and Thales UK have signed an 18-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to supply training services for the A400M Atlas, the Royal Air Force’s next-generation military transport aircraft.
The multi-million pound training services programme will be operated by A400M Training Services Ltd, a joint venture between Airbus Military and Thales UK. The training services will include the design, construction and management of the A400M Atlas training school, the installation and maintenance of full flight simulators and all synthetic training equipment, and support to the RAF’s own course design team and training staff.
The training school will be built at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, with work planned to complete in spring 2014. The school will train a range of aircrew and groundcrew in how to operate and maintain the RAF’s 22 A400M Atlas aircraft.
The contract and associated simulator orders are expected to sustain up to 300 long-term jobs, principally at RAF Brize Norton and at Thales UK’s facility in Crawley, West Sussex, where the simulators are being built, and also in Airbus Military.
Domingo Ureña-Raso, President and CEO of Airbus Military, said: “This contract is an important milestone for the A400M Atlas programme and underlines Airbus Military’s commitment to fully respond to our customers’ training needs. This training programme will set new standards in military service provision, cementing our excellent relationship with the UK Ministry of Defence. It will also be key to ensuring the smooth entry into service of the A400M Atlas with the Royal Air Force. We look forward to providing further innovative services in partnership with the Royal Air Force to support their air mobility needs.”