QinetiQ has signed its first ever multi-year training contract on behalf of the Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS), in a five-year deal with the Royal Netherlands Air force.
Under the £5.5m contract signed in December 2017, ETPS will continue to train the Dutch force's test pilots and flight test engineers until at least 2022.
Until now, all ETPS courses have been booked on a rolling annual basis, but new multi-year contract options have been made possible by the recent 11-year commitment within the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA), under which QinetiQ manages ETPS in support of the UK Ministry of Defence.
Dutch students in the 2018 course will be among the first to fly the school's new aircraft, purchased in 2017 as part of a £85m drive to modernise the UK's provision of test aircrew training. The new fleet comprises two Grob 120TP nd two Pilatus PC-21 fixed wing aircraft, alongside four Airbus H125 helicopters. These aircraft will be complemented by new modular courses, featuring modern working environments, materials and teaching practices, including student-centered and distance learning.
Nick Lay, Operations director T&E and Training Transformation, QinetiQ, said: "This commitment from the Royal Netherlands Air Force is a significant vote of confidence in the reinvigorated ETPS, and in QinetiQ's strategy to modernise UK test aircrew training. The introduction of multi-year agreements raises exciting new possibilities for our customers, such as tailored courses, bespoke equipment and activities, and long-term cost savings."