Babcock Grob 115E basic trainer aircraft.
Babcock Grob 115E basic trainer aircraft.

Babcock Renews Light Aircraft Flying Task (LAFT2) Contract with Royal Air Force

Babcock has signed a four-year agreement (with four further option years) to continue to operate the Light Aircraft Flying Task (LAFT2) for the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD). This full-service partnership provides the MOD with a cost-effective way to operate flying training that is backed up by Babcock’s in-depth understanding of the military training ethos. Operational delivery is supported by engineering expertise and detailed asset management that ensures high levels of aircraft availability to support the delivery of the flying task. By taking a whole force capability approach, Babcock supports the training of front-line aircrew, University Air Squadron cadets and Air Experience Flying for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Babcock has accumulated a total of 700,000 flying hours by delivering flying training to British pilots. The training is conducted using as many as 91 Babcock-owned Grob 115E basic trainer aircraft. According to the company, the initial ten-year-long LAFT contract awarded to Babcock for providing flying training culminated in 2009. It was extended for another ten years in 2009, with validity until October 2022, and renamed as ‘LAFT2’. This 23-year-long full-service partnership has proven to be a cost-effective solution for the MoD to support the training of the aircrews. Babcock’s part of work includes providing engineering expertise and detailed asset management that can further maintain aircraft availability to deliver continuous support for the flying operations.

Babcock Grob 115E basic trainer aircraft.
Babcock Grob 115E basic trainer aircraft. (Photo by Babcock)

The Grob G 115 is a general aviation fixed-wing aircraft, primarily used for flight training. It is built in Germany by Grob Aircraft (Grob Aerospace before January 2009). The E variant with a 3-blade variable pitch propeller is in service with the Finnish Air Force, the Royal Navy and Army Air Corps for Flying Grading (a pre-EFT flying course) and in the Royal Air Force as part of No. 6 Flying Training School (6 FTS) which provides flying to both University Air Squadrons and Air Experience Flights to Cadets of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. As of 2020, the Tutor is still being used by the RAF for some Elementary Flying Training (3FTS) but is due to be phased out in favour of its replacement, the Prefect T1.

Babcock International Group plc is a British aerospace, defence and nuclear engineering services company based in London, England. It specialises in managing complex assets and infrastructure. Although the company has civil contracts, its main business is with public bodies, particularly the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence and Network Rail. The company has four operating sectors, with overseas operations based in Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia. The company is organised into four sectors: Marine, Land, Aviation and Cavendish Nuclear.

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