BAE Systems wins UK synthetic flight training deal

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded BAE Systems contracts valued at more than £220m (US$304m) to deliver synthetic training for pilots training to fly the Eurofighter Typhoon, the latest example of the steady growth of digital alternatives trumping physical solutions.

Under the Typhoon Future Synthetic Training contracts, BAE Systems is leading work to deliver ten high fidelity, immersive simulators, together with other training facilities at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.

BAE Systems Typhoon synthetic training
Synthetic training solutions are becoming increasingly complex, enabling interconnected digital environments to be exploited for multi-domain training. BAE Systems

The new training environments will be linked together to provide an integrated environment for pilots to train and carry out combined training exercises using real world mission software and tactics, according to a September 13 release from BAE Systems.

The investment by Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement arm, reflects the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s ambition to increase its use of synthetic training, delivering cost, time and sustainability benefits over live training, the release added.

Richard Hamilton, Typhoon programme director, Europe, BAE Systems’ Air Sector, said: “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 air, land and sea.”

In addition, Hamilton spoke of the environmental benefits in utilising alternative solutions to live flight training, pointing to “9.6 tonnes of carbon saved” with every synthetic flight.

“The investment… will help reduce the current carbon footprint of live training, supporting the net zero ambitions held by our customers and ourselves,” Hamilton said.

The contract will support approximately 120 jobs in the delivery of new infrastructure at two RAF bases, with a further 60 engineering jobs sustained at BAE Systems.