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Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and VT Group Announce Consortium Name for UK MoD's Military Flying Training System Programme
PRNewswire-FirstCall
ORLANDO, Fla.

Lockheed Martin UK Ltd. , Rolls-Royce plc and VT Group plc today formally announced the name of their consortium team bidding for the UK Ministry of Defence's Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS) programme. The team will be known as ASCENT.

The three companies had previously signed a Letter of Intent in September 2003 at London's Defence Systems Equipment International exhibition to team for the procurement of a Training Systems Integrator for UK MFTS. Since September, the team has continued to support the UK MoD as the programme has progressed through its Convergence Phase.

"This represents our team entering a new phase as the UK Government's procurement programme continues on schedule," said Jim Keeler, Vice-President of Business Development for Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support and Project Director for ASCENT. "This is the right name for a team which has consistently supported the UK Government and focused on a holistic solution to future flying training for Her Majesty's Armed Forces."

VT Support Services' Managing Director Simon Tarrant commented on the significant progress made since the Consortium formed. "The three companies have integrated very successfully, and ASCENT is already performing as a unified team. ASCENT will utilise the skills inherent within the team and make use of emerging technology to ensure rapid data transfer internally and facilitate a timely and considered response to customer questions and inputs."

The commitment to the programme runs much deeper than just a name, however, as Mike Nixon, Senior Vice President for UK MoD, Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace, and one of the senior military advisors to ASCENT, explains, "From early 2004 onwards, the team will be located at Rolls-Royce in Bristol in order to be geographically close to our customer in the Defence Procurement Agency at Abbey Wood. ASCENT will have its own offices, systems and website dedicated to supporting the bid."

Lockheed Martin is the world's leading provider of military aircrew training and it is a leader in the design, development, installation, operation and integration of training and simulation systems for global defence, civil and commercial markets. Its capabilities span the live, virtual, constructive and test-instrumentation training domains for flight, naval and ground systems applications. In the UK, Lockheed Martin was responsible for successfully delivering the world's largest and most sophisticated simulation system, the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT).

Rolls-Royce operates in four global markets -- civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. In addition to its global experience in power systems, it offers a unique mix of programme management and asset financing skills with extensive experience of the UK environment.

VT Group is a leading provider of services and products to governments worldwide and operates in two major divisions, Support Services and Shipbuilding. VT Support Services encompasses both civil and military activities. Military support is tri-service and includes training, platform and equipment maintenance, and facilities management. It provides and supports current flying training through its partnership with the UK MoD.

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Mark Douglas, +011-44-20-7798-2850, or mobile,
+011-44-7879-444081, or Phil Rood, +011-44-1489-775213, or mobile,
+011-44-7941-164756, or Nick Britton, +011-44-117-979-5943, all of ASCENT