The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ordered an additional four new Airbus Helicopters H145 Jupiter HT1 training helicopters.
The contract modification, worth £183m, is part of an expansion of the UK's Military Flight Training System (MFTS) programme, which is managed by Ascent Flight Training Services.
Airbus Helicopters is expected to deliver all four Jupiter HT1s to RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, by the end of the year. The aircraft will join an existing fleet of 29 H135 Juno HT1s and three H145s, which are already providing training to Royal Air Force, Army Air Corps and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilots.
Colin James, managing director of Airbus Helicopters UK, said: "The H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter are demonstrating day-in and day-out their exceptional reliability and versatility in the training role at UK MFTS. It's deeply satisfying for us to see the first aircrew having already graduated and we look forward to delivering the additional aircraft in the very near future."
Commodore Tom Manson, UK MFTS head, Defence Equipment and Support, said: "I am delighted to uplift the capacity of our tri-service military helicopter pilot training services that we deliver in partnership with Ascent."
"The new twin-engine Airbus H145s will enhance the current mix of H135 and H145s that are used on UK MFTS, providing increased flexibility to deliver the range of training required for both pilots and aircrewmen in advance of flying front line helicopters," he added.
The contract will also see Airbus Helicopters provide infrastructure improvements and a state-of-the-art simulator at RAF Shawbury.