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Ascent to take over UKMFTS program

LONDON, June 3 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense has awarded Ascent, a Lockheed Martin/VT Group joint venture, a 25-year contract to support military flight training.

The approximately $1.25 billion contract is for Ascent to take over responsibilities for the U.K. Military Flying Training System program that provides flight training for the Royal Navy, Air Force and Army Air Corps.

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The announced deal could be worth approximately $11.8 billion over the course of the contract. Officials say in order to avoid disruptions in the current flight training, Ascent will take over the UKMFTS on an incremental basis.

"The partnering contract with Ascent brings together Ministry of Defense and industry skills to deliver a first-class flying training capability," Baroness Ann Taylor, British minister for defense equipment and support, said in a statement.

"It will significantly improve training for Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army aircrew by bringing together the current range of fragmented training schemes into one modern and cohesive program."

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