Ascent Flight Training has received four converted Hawker-Beechcraft B350ER King Air special mission aircraft for the UK military flying training system (MFTS).

Cobham Aviation Services general manager Des Taylor said the aircraft and services provided by Ascent and Cobham offered the royal navy improved capability to conduct primary flight training of aircrew.

Equipped with twin student training consoles and twin instructor consoles, the aircraft will be used to train navy observers to navigate and operate their aircraft tactically, before starting operational flighttraining on Lynx, Merlin and Sea King helicopters.

The aircraft, which will be equipped with a 360° telephonic RDR1700A under-belly radar and full navigation and communications suites, are expected to replace the now retired Jetstream T2 aircraft.

In mid 2009, Ascent awarded Cobham a £20m contract to upgrade the aircraft for the role, and to provide daily in-service support for an initial period of five years at RNAS Culdrose helicopter base.