The Leonardo, Top Aces and Inzpire team, named Red Aces, has been down-selected by the Ministry of Defence to compete for a contract to meet the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) capability.
The UK’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme aims to meet the training component of UK air support across the Air Force, Navy, Army and Joint Forces Commands from 2020, progressively replacing existing contracted and military service provision as these programmes expire or reach their planned end of service date.
In June 2016 the Ministry of Defence released information on what the UK Military Flight Training Systems Project Team would be seeking from the multi-phased programme. These requirements – still subject to refinement – currently cover the provision of live flying assets to meet training requirements for air to air combat; air to surface combat; joint terminal attack controller / forward air controller (airborne); electronic warfare; air traffic control, ground based air defence and aerospace battle management; and live gunnery. There is a growing segment within the adversary air combat training market for highly advanced aggressor capabilities to be able to perform realistic combat training.
Leonardo say that Team Red Aces is “creating an industry-leading solution to provide a safe, highly representative live air support service to the British Armed Forces and its allies.”
Inzpire is already trusted, they say, by the RAF Air Warfare Centre, RAF Typhoon Force, and Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington to design and deliver large-scale live and synthetic operational training. The company has one-of-a-kind experience in LVC (live, virtual, constructive) training research, development, and delivery in the UK. Inzpire’s pilots conduct live combat training with Typhoon for the Royal Air Force and for the British Army with Apache and Wildcat helicopter pilots on a daily basis. For ASDOT, as with their existing training delivery, Inzpire will act as “Red Lead” by producing, leading and executing the Aggressor plan.
“Top Aces is the most experienced provider of turnkey tactical airborne training in the world. With more than 68,000 accident-free flight hours and Main Operating Bases across three continents, Top Aces is preparing to introduce the next generation of aggressor training using advanced 4th generation supersonic aggressor aircraft.
Flown by highly experienced Fighter Weapons Instructor pilots, and equipped with advanced radar and electronic attack (EA) systems, as well as other advanced on-board systems, Top Aces will deliver the mission profiles, flexibility, and availability demanded by ASDOT.”
Recently, Babcock and Elbit Systems entered into a partnering agreement to pursue the Ministry of Defence’s ‘aggressor air’ capability under the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme. Also joining is Saab with the Gripen Aggressor.
Not to be left out, Cobham Special Mission has also announced that it has signed a Teaming Agreement with Draken International for jointly developing solutions for the delivery of operational readiness training under the UK MoD’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme.
No aircraft type or project team has yet been selected.