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An overview of the Royal Air Force's current and future pilot training: UK MFTS, synthetic training and overcoming pilot shortage

In this exclusive interview, Air Commodore Jamie H Hunter, Director Flying Training of the Royal Air Force discusses the current state of pilot training in the RAF and their plans for the future. He shares insight into the balance between live and synthetic training, his approach towards pilot shortage and the pull from commercial airlines, and why he sees LVC as the key to a more cost-effective training solution and the challenges associated with it.

Air Commodore Hunter will be speaking at this year’s Military Flight Training conference, held in the context of a rapidly evolving threat environment which pushes air force leaders to transform and accelerate training to equip Airmen with the needed skills without compromising the depth of learning and quality of training.

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Key benefits of downloading the interview:

  • Understand the RAF’s view on the balance of live and synthetic training, and how AI will revolutionise pilot training from Air Commodore Hunter who will attend Military Flight Training
  • Learn more about the RAF’s current approach to dealing with pilot shortage from Air Commodore Hunter who will attend Military Flight Training
  • Learn how the Royal Air Force is planning to accelerate the pilot training pipeline to close the pilot shortage gap, from Air Commodore Hunter who will attend Military Flight Training

In this interview, Air Commodore Hunter answers the following questions:

  • The balance between live and synthetic training is an ongoing discussion within air forces globally. What is the approach of the Royal Air Force on this issue?
  • With the current Tempest programme moving ahead, how is the Royal Air Force planning to adapt the pilot training syllabus to prepare for the integration of next generation aircraft into the Air Force’s fleet?
  • There is currently a big issue around pilot shortage in air forces globally. How is the Royal Air Force currently approaching the hiring and retaining of pilots while “competing” with commercial airlines?
  • How do you envision overcoming pilot shortage in the future? How is the Royal Air Force planning to accelerate pilot training pipeline to close the pilot shortage gap?
  • In your opinion, what solution could be the key to a cost-effective pilot training? Is it outsourced training, LVC, a mix between live and synthetic training etc.?
  • The UK is partnering with the U.S. on the Pilot Training Next programme which uses virtual reality systems to train pilots. Do you see this collaboration as the start of standardized flying training across NATO?

At the Military Flight Training conference, Air Commodore Jamie H Hunter will discuss training airmen and airwomen of the future. To download the full agenda and see who will join him on the speaker panel, please click here

Military Flight Training 2020 Market Report

In this increasingly digitised, information-dominated and contested operating environment, Air Forces are investing into the modernization of their assets and the procurement of future combat air systems. They however cannot sustain high readiness if they don’t have sufficient numbers of trainers or pilots to operate their advanced fleets of aircraft, and platform modernization and training are not developing along a parallel trajectory. This results in decreasing manpower and pilot shortage across the globe.

Ahead of Military Flight Training 2020, Defence iQ compiled the annual update of its report outlining key requirements and ongoing programmes in pilot training from Air Forces around the world. 

Download the report now >>

Key benefits of downloading the report:

  • Know top acquisition priorities from countries that will be present at Military Flight Training 
  • Develop business strategies by meeting the right people from countries having active programmes and key requirements at Military Flight Training 
  • Gain insights into investment trends from your peers

This report offers insights into the activity of nations that will be present at Military Flight Training, such as:

  • Argentina – purchase of three more IA-63 Pampa III Block 1 aircraft under a deal worth US$21 million
  • Bangladesh – plans to acquire multi-role combat fighters and Apache attack helicopters from the U.S. through Forces Goal 2030
  • Belgium – investment of EUR275 million for the renovation of its infrastructure to accommodate the 34 F-35 recently acquired
  • Canada – plans to combat pilot training under the Future Aircrew Training which would include under one wing courseware, training devices, maintenance instructors and facilities management
  • Czech Republic – delivery of three new L-159T2 light attack/trainer aircraft to provide a more adapted trainer for the Air Force’s fleet of Gripen C/D fighters
  • France – start of pilot training through the Air Force’s fleet of Pilatus PC-21 advanced turboprop trainers acquired through the FOMEDEC availability contract
  • Germany – upgrade of the Air Force’s Tornado simulators and integration into the Eurofighter Typhoon environment to allow for a networked joint training 
  • Israel – recent hosting and participation in the international Blue Flag training exercise
  • Italy – collaboration between the Air Force and Leonardo on the International Flight Training School
  • Malaysia – plans to launch a procurement effort in early 2020 for a light combat aircraft/fighter lead-in trainer
  • Poland – procurement of 32 F-35A Lightning II from the U.S. under a US$6.5 billion deal
  • Portugal – possibility of the option of contracting advanced jet training to an external provider that would procure Leonardo M-346s for it
  • Spain – acquisition of 24 Pilatus PC-21 to replace its ageing fleet of CASA C-101 jet trainers in a deal worth EUR204.74 million
  • Sweden – support from the defence commission for an early acquisition of a new trainer for basic pilot instruction to be available in the period from 2021-25
  • United Kingdom – plans to invest £46 billion over the next ten years into purchasing and supporting front-line aircraft for the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the British Army to help meet its pilot training requirements
  • The U.S. – US$9.2 billion contract award to Boeing-Saab partnership to produce the USAF’s next-generation jet trainer and planned investment from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps

To learn more about who you will be able to meet at Military Flight Training 2020, you can download the agenda here


Military Flight Training 2019 post event report

The Military Flight Training conference gathered in March over 200 military and industry attendees from over 40 nations to discuss key pilot training challenges. Chaired by Major General Thomas H. Deale, Former Vice Director for Joint Force Development, US Joint Staff, the three-day programme included presentations on all aspects of pilot training, including basic, advanced, LVC and simulation training.

This post event report delves into the highlights of Military Flight Training 2019.

Download your copy on the right >>

Download this post event report to access:

  • An event summary of the 2019 conference
  • A breakdown of attendees by country and job title
  • The 2019 speaker faculty
  • An exclusive interview with the 2019 Chairman 
  • The summaries from the following presentations:
    • The changing face of flying training from Air Vice Marshal Warren James, Air Officer Commanding 22 Group and Air Commodore J H Hunter, Director Flying Training No 22 Group, Royal Air Force
    • Training combat air forces in support of US security objectives – Major General Kevin A. Huyck, Director of Operations, US Air Combat Command
    • Shaping the human contribution to achieve operational advantage – Major General Alain Pelletier, Chief Fighter Capability, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • An overview of 2019 conference sponsors

Read an exclusive preview of the 2019 event summary below:

Drawing together over 200 attendees from 85 different organisations across Europe, the Americas, Middle East and parts of Asia, the event presented a unique forum for the exchange of knowledge in military flight training. With a dedicated 9 hours of networking opportunities and 47 individual briefings, it was a platform that enabled fruitful discussions and strengthened dialogue between allies, partners and industry. […] MFT 2019 facilitated long-standing partnerships, multinational cooperation and industry engagement. This high level of attendance unveiled common challenges and underpinned the importance of high readiness for the full spectrum of operations in the air and space domain. 



[Video] Military Flight Training: What the event offers

Every year, the Military Flight Training event takes place in London, UK, to bring together the best minds in the community, including military leadership, solution providers and aviation instructors. Unparalleled as a conference in this space, this global forum is the must-attend event to understand the challenges for tomorrow's pilots and to network with the world's leading Primes and Tier Two providers. Don't just take our word for it - find out what our recent attendees thought...

Military Flight Training 2018: Speaker introduction

Ahead of Military Flight Training 2018, we decided to give our speakers a platform to talk about their perspective on key themes that we will address at the conference.

In this exclusive interview, discover what priorities and challenges Major General Andrew Toth and Group Captain Dennis Tan encounter on flight training, their perspective on the state of synthetic training and what they look forward to learning from other nations at the event.