MoD pilot contract six years behind schedule - watchdog

National Audit Office finds £3.2bn training programme will "not be running at full capacity until 2019"

By Josh May

12 Jun 2015

The Ministry of Defence’s contract to train military pilots is six years behind schedule, the public spending watchdog has found. 

The National Audit Office said the £3.2bn programme, which was contracted out to the Ascent consortium, will not be running at full capacity until 2019, despite plans for it to be ready by 2014.

The NAO warned the MoD needed to “understand better actual training performance and what affects performance before it can secure significant improvements from Ascent”.

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“Otherwise, there is a real risk that moving to the new training will affect the military’s ability to train the right number of aircrew at the right time,” NAO boss Amyas Morse added.

Defence minister Philip Dunne admitted the programme had had a “difficult start”, but said it was now on a “much firmer footing and moving forward”.

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