Airbus Helicopters, the aircraft manufacturing giant, has been chosen by Ascent as the primary aircraft Service Provider of choice for the UK’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). The contract from Ascent is worth a cool $728 million over the course of 17 years. The terms are that Airbus Helicopters will deliver over the course of 18 months, the load of aircrafts and the integrated support solution in preparation for the start of training which is scheduled for April 2018. Going back as far as 35 years ago, all UK military helicopter pilots have earned their stripes training on Airbus Helicopters which started with the Gazelle and eventually with the H125 Squirrel. In 2018 and moving forward, Ascent’s delivery of a key capability for the UK MOD will be supported by Airbus Helicopters. Philip Dunne the UK's Minister for Defence Procurement, has stated that this
“is the final element in re-fashioning the UK Military Flying Training System into a state-of-the-art structure to develop suitably qualified aircrew to secure the future of air elements of our Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.”
Dunne also believes that the Armed Forces will benefit greatly from the consistently immaculate world-class training across the board as a whole. Per the stipulations as outlined by the contract, Airbus Helicopters will be required to provide a fleet of H135 and H145 that will meet the necessary 28,0000 hours per year requirement needed for training. This contract is a strong showing off faith on Ascent’s part seeing as how Airbus has recently come under fire for repeated delays on the production end that has caused many large airlines such as Qatar Airways to legally reneged upon their contract agreements.
Airbus citing failures to meet delivery date stemming from hardware fixes along with software upgrades as the main culprit for the delays. Industry leaders quietly faults the aircraft manufacturer for aggressively ramping up productions as a result of huge orders and finding out they are unable to deliver on their promises. Even so Airbus has rebounded quite nicely as they have already won over 800 orders from more than 40 different customers worldwide for their highly anticipated A350-1000s.