A £ multi-million joint investment by Ascent Flight Training and Lockheed Martin will support the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS), replacing the current Mission Planning Systems (MPS) used on fixed-wing platforms including Prefect and Phenom, and rotary-wing platforms covering the Juno and Jupiter helicopters.
This initiative is in response to user feedback about the existing MPS, and a need to sustain a more effective, more supportable and user/operator-friendly capability through life. Enhancements included in the package will further maximise efficiencies, and provide more capability and abilities to enhance planning and operating awareness.
A contract to deliver the new MPS was awarded to Inzpire, who will deliver their GECO mission planning and debrief system.
GECO’s advanced mission debriefing system takes mission analysis to the next level.
Tim James, Ascent Managing Director said: “Partnering with Inzpire means we are able to provide the optimum mission support system for our UK MFTS customer’s needs. It has been trialled and adopted in challenging operations by the Royal Air Force on both fixed wing and rotary platforms, making it the ideal system to accelerate both ground based and flying training in preparation for conversion to operational requirements”.
Jonny Smith, Head of Products Operational Business Unit at Inzpire, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Ascent and Lockheed Martin and to provide the GECO system to additional UK MFTS platforms. Inzpire is very proud to play a role in training the next generation of UK military aviators”.
GECO is already up-and-running on the Texan aircraft used in Basic Flying Training, and user experience has been extremely favourable. It aligns with the GECO MPS applications already in use on some of the UK Royal Air Force’s front line aircraft types, and will offer training advantages for the students going forward, as they will already be familiar with the GECO system.
GECO’s mission and performance planning capabilities enable crews to quickly, accurately and safely undertake critical calculations; and automated features check the safety and accuracy of the plan and alert the user to potential issues.
Rotary Wing Training will also exploit tablet technology based on Inzpire’s GECO system utilising already-proven and cleared in-service technology.
The implementation of the GECO system will be phased over the next eighteen months to minimise impact when transitioning from the old systems to the new systems. The existing Texan GECO system at RAF Valley will be upgraded first, followed by Prefect and Phenom at RAF Cranwell and RAF Barkston Heath, and completed by Rotary Wing upgrades.
L-R: Jonny Smith, Head of Products Operational Business Unit at Inzpire; Hugh Griffiths, Inzpire CEO; Tim James, Ascent Managing Director. Pictured at DSEI 2021.
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division produces some of the most innovative and highly-regarded mission systems available for the air environment. The products are in frontline operational use with UK and international armed forces, delivering situational awareness, safety of flight and mission enhancing capabilities across helicopter, fixed wing and multi-engine platforms.
Ascent Flight Training
Ascent Flight Training was appointed in 2008 to design and deliver a modern and efficient flying training system by the UK MOD; created as a joint venture between Lockheed Martin UK and Babcock International.
We work in partnership alongside DE&S (the MOD’s procurement agency), 22 Group and Air Command in delivering UKMFTS. It is the largest transformation of UK military aircrew training in a generation, training UK Armed Forces Fast Jet, Multi-Engine and Rotary Wing pilots and rear-crew/mission aircrew through elementary, basic and advanced flying training phases.
UKMFTS replaced the legacy training fleet with modern platforms to better prepare our aircrew for the next generation of military aircraft. We now have the aircraft, synthetics and training devices needed to train the next generation of front-line aircrew of all three Services student aircrew are progressing through the new system.
We use a global network of partners to provide tailored training solutions to meet our customer’s needs which includes building and equipping training centres, developing courseware, operating aircraft services and ground-based training equipment and providing the instructors.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Please follow @LMNews on Twitter for the latest announcements and news across the corporation.
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