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UK MOD awards A400M Atlas training service contract to Thales and Airbus Military

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UK MOD awards A400M Atlas training service contract to Thales and Airbus Military Thales

Thales UK and Airbus Military have signed an 18-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to supply training services for the A400M Atlas, the Royal Air Force’s next-generation military transport aircraft.

The multi-million pound training services programme will be operated by A400M Training Services Ltd, a joint venture between Thales UK and Airbus Military. The training services will include the design, construction and management of the A400M Atlas training school, the installation and maintenance of full flight simulators and all synthetic training equipment, and support to the RAF’s own course design team and training staff.

The training school will be built at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, with work planned to complete in spring 2014. The school will train a range of aircrew and groundcrew in how to operate and maintain the RAF’s 22 A400M Atlas aircraft.

The contract and associated simulator orders are expected to sustain up to 300 long-term jobs, principally at RAF Brize Norton and at Thales UK’s facility in Crawley, West Sussex, where the simulators are being built, and also in Airbus Military.

Marion Broughton, head of Thales UK’s military aerospace business, said: “This contract award demonstrates yet again that Thales is a key MOD partner in the provision of training services. It also continues our long association with RAF Brize Norton where we already provide VC10, TriStar and Voyager training services. We look forward to providing further services to the RAF’s next generation of air support aircraft.”

  • Thales has a long and successful association with the UK MOD as a training provider.
  • Since the 1950s Thales UK has supplied and operated a range of flight simulation devices and offered training services for a wide range of UK military aircraft.
  • Thales currently operates training services on combat, multi-engine and rotary-wing aircraft at nine different military bases in the UK, and delivers more than 15,000 hours of advanced training to air and ground-crew every year.
  • Thales, as a long-standing Airbus partner, is the main supplier of the A400M’s avionics: cockpit display systems, head-up display, integrated modular avionics, flight management system, enhanced vision system, and stand-by instruments. Thales is also present in the electrical system in cooperation with Goodrich.


About the A400M

The A400M is an all new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world’s Armed Forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions, while being also able to be used as a tanker plane. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed.

Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do the job of three of today’s different aircraft models in a single one. This means smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. Able to do more with less, the A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.

About A400M Training Services Ltd

A400M Training Services Ltd, a joint venture between Thales UK and Airbus Military, was created to deliver the training service to the UK Ministry of Defence for the A400M military transport programme.  ATSL will employ around fifteen staff at RAF Brize Norton. 

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