Discovery Air Defence and Inzpire have announced they are to join forces to bid for the UK Ministry of Defence’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) requirement.
According to a statement from DA Defence, the two companies “will combine their unique capabilities in the live air training environment to deliver the most innovative, relevant and safe training solution for the ASDOT customer.”
The ASDOT requirement is intended to serve the British Armed Forces’ evolving live-fly, tactical training needs into the mid-2030s. Involving multiple contracts, ASDOT will be fulfilled by a single service provider, and will include aggressor-type training requirements for all three armed services.
The ASDOT programme will field a successor to Cobham Aviation’s Dassault Falcon 20s and Fleet Air Arm-operated Hawk T1s flown by 736 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall and RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset. The Royal Navy Hawks will be retired in 2020. Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force’s No 100 Squadron Hawk T1s will give up their aggressor training role in 2027.
DA Defence operates the world’s largest privately-owned operational fleet of aggressor aircraft for air support, and provides tactical airborne training and adversary training for various armed forces around the world. The DA Defence fleet currently includes A-4N/ TA-4J Skyhawks and ex-Luftwaffe Alpha Jets.
DA Defence is thought to be planning to acquire F-16 Fighting Falcons from an undisclosed source in order to aid fourth- and fifth-generation fighter pilot training. It is understood to be aiming for four single-seat Block 10 F-16A models and two F-16B models, with plans for 10 in total, with the jets in question being described as having a ‘decent, low level of flying hours’.
Inzpire currently provide an exercise management team for the RAF’s Air Battlespace Training Centre, as well as supplying expertise within the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre through the management of large-scale live training exercises. Inzpire’d Qualified Helicopter Flying Instructors instruct the British Army Apache attack helicopter and Wildcat helicopter conversion-to-type and conversion-to-role courses.
At the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, Qinetiq and Thales announced an agreement with Textron AirLand to offer the latter’s Scorpion jet for the ASDOT requirement.