MADRID, March 4 (UPI) -- Britain's Ministry of Defense has contracted Airbus Military of Spain and Thales UK for training services for its next-generation transport plane.
The award to support the British air force and the A400M Atlas from Airbus military is for 18 years.
Work under the contract, which will be conducted by joint venture company A400M Training Services Ltd, includes 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 for the air force's course design team and training staff.
Construction of the training school for air and ground crew will be completed next year at an air base in Oxfordshire, the companies said.
"This contract is an important milestone for the A400M Atlas program and underlines Airbus Military's commitment to fully respond to our customers' training needs," said Domingo Urena-Raso, president and chief executive officer of Airbus Military. "This training program will set new standards in military service provision, cementing our excellent relationship with the U.K. Ministry of Defense.
"It will also be key to ensuring the smooth entry into service of the A400M Atlas with the Royal Air Force."
The A400M is a new turboprop military airlifter that can also act as a tanker. It has a cruise speed of 485 miles per hour and has a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles with a payload of about 30 tons.
Britain has ordered 22 of the aircraft.