Qinetiq powers pilots' school with new £1 billion defence contractComments Off on Qinetiq powers pilots' school with new £1 billion defence contract
Defence giant QinetiQ will put the rocket boosters under the British military flight school behind UK spaceman Tim Peake after inking a fresh deal with the Ministry of Defence.
The group will spend £85 million in the UK’s Empire Test Pilots’ School in Wiltshire, one of the top three in the world, to train the next generation of military and commercial test pilots with hi-tech new equipment.
The outlay is part of a £1 billion agreement with the MoD which will lock in half of QinetiQ’s revenues from a outsourcing contract until 2028.
Another £95 million will also go towards upgrading the MoD’s firing ranges off the west coasts of Scotland and Wales. “This is the most significant milestone since I’ve been here at QinetiQ,” said chief executive Steve Wadey.
The pilot school money will be spent on eight new hi-tech jets and helicopters and rolling out a new test pilot syllabus in 2019 in conjunction with the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre. About 22 pilots enrol at every year at the school, whose Latin motto is “Learn to test; test to learn”. Peake learnt at the school and was also a tutor there.
Wadey said the school’s upgrade would help it attract talent from around the world as it challenges rivals like the US Air Force Test Pilot School.