BAE Systems wins MOD contracts for Typhoon pilot training

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BAE Systems has been awarded over £220m from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver advanced synthetic training for pilots to fly the Typhoon aircraft.

BAE Systems
Image credit: BAE Systems

Under the Typhoon Future Synthetic Training (TFST) contracts, BAE Systems will lead delivery of ten high fidelity, immersive simulators together with training facilities at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire and RAF Lossiemouth, Moray.

The new training environments will be linked to provide an integrated environment for pilots to carry out complex combined training exercises using real world mission software and tactics. The technology will provide students with a secure experience tailored to the individual which is difficult to achieve in live training environments, BAE Systems said.

Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement arm, has made the investment in line with the RAF’s ambition to increase use of synthetic training which can deliver cost, time and sustainability benefits over live training.

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BAE Systems works with industrial and academic partners to integrate technologies such as virtual assistants, data analytics, single synthetic environments and artificial intelligence into next generation training solutions such as simulators.

“We pride ourselves in delivering world-class training capability as we understand how critical it is to deliver the highest quality skills and capabilities to the frontline,” said Richard Hamilton, Typhoon Programme Director, Europe, BAE Systems’ Air Sector. 

“This contract builds on existing work to deliver synthetic training to the RAF’s Typhoon Force, which will eventually enable pilots from different locations to fly virtual missions together and provide the ability to ‘plug into’ other assets across land, air and sea.”

Hamilton added that the use of synthetic training will help to reduce the carbon footprint of live training, with just over nine tonnes of carbon saved by every synthetic flight. 

The contract aims to support around 120 jobs in the delivery of new infrastructure at two RAF bases, with a further 60 engineering jobs sustained at BAE Systems and more with a number of specialist UK companies throughout its supply chain. Construction work is now progressing with a target initial operating capability at RAF Coningsby in 2022.