Boeing will continue training Royal Air Force (RAF) C-17 aircrew and engineers at the C-17 International Training Centre (ITC) in Farnborough, delivering a technology-enabled programme under a new Synthetic Training Service (STS) contract through 2040, following a £274 million contract award.
Personnel inside a C-17 flight simulator,
“Ensuring we have a modernised Armed Forces capable of tackling future threats begins with access to world-class training for all of our personnel" said Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin MP. “This £247 million investment will allow our air crews to operate this aircraft to its highest capability and maintain critical defence outputs and will extend our use of modern synthetic training techniques.”
The training programme will apply a combination of digitally-based training, advanced aircraft simulation and desktop training devices to advance the expertise of pilots, loadmasters and engineers who operate and maintain the C-17. The STS contract also includes development of two new engineering training devices that employ the latest technology for practical maintenance training on a C-17 wing engine and the main landing gear assembly.
“The RAF’s C-17 is one of many defence platforms that Boeing provides standard, advanced and digital training systems for, helping to ensure the safety and readiness of the UK armed forces,” said Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK. “We are proud to continue our long-term support for the RAF’s fleet of eight C-17s, delivered by highly skilled Boeing UK employees in partnership with our UK-based suppliers, to enhance aircrew and engineering training and proficiency, while providing flexibility for the UK’s strategic airlift capability for decades to come.”
Since 2014, Boeing has provided aircrew and engineering training support for the RAF’s C-17 Globemaster III fleet, which first arrived in the UK in 2001. The C-17 can carry equipment, supplies and troops directly to airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world, day or night, as well as supporting humanitarian operations. Today the RAF is one of nine global operators.
The Farnborough-based Boeing C-17 training team delivers close to 600 pilot, loadmaster and engineer courses every year, maintaining a training device availability service of more than 95 percent.
“We’re proud to work closely with the RAF to deliver the best learning experience for their pilots, aircrew and maintainers,” said Tonya Noble, senior director, Boeing Government Training. “We continue to innovate and develop our training solutions on proven platforms like the C-17 to meet evolving customer requirements and to capitalise on the significant benefits and efficiencies of digital technologies.”
The ITC is home to a C-17 full flight training simulator, a fixed-base maintenance procedure trainer and a loadmaster station. These devices, related courseware and support equipment, along with a group of 20 Boeing instructors and support staff, provide instruction on in-flight and ground operations checks, emergency procedures and C-17 avionic and mechanical systems. Along with the RAF, C-17 operators from defence forces around the world engage in training sessions with the Boeing team in Farnborough.
Boeing has a UK workforce of 2,500 direct employees across the country and spends £2 billion a year in the UK supply chain.