The MoD has scrapped the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme.
ASDOT would have seen British pilots trained against jets supplied by industry partners, however the contract has now been halted with no winner selected.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:
“We received a number of industry proposals in response to the ASDOT invitation to negotiation. We will now re-assess the parameters for the programme.”
One of the selling points of the contract was that it would eliminate maintenance and storage costs of the aircraft used, with the MoD only paying for the time it worked with the aircraft.
Another plus would have been that the aircraft used would likely have been different to those operated by British pilots, providing experience of working with or against aircraft types not in use by British forces.
Last year, Cobham announced that QinetiQ had joined Draken International and 3SDL as a member of the Cobham team to develop solutions for the delivery of operational readiness training under the ASDOT programme. Another notable contender was the Leonardo, Top Aces and Inzpire team, named Red Aces.
The ASDOT programme was designed 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 – which were still subject to refinement – covered 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.
It’s unknown if the programme will resurface.