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FARNBOROUGH: UK places order for A400M simulator

Airbus Military has won a contract to supply the UK with an A400M full-flight simulator - which will be manufactured within the nation by Thales.

The deal, worth £50 million ($77 million), also spans supply of a simulator support system.

To be delivered in spring 2014 - before the Royal Air Force receives the first of 22 of the military transports later that year - the simulator will be procured by Airbus Military from the French defence and aerospace group's UK training and simulation division. It will also be maintained by a joint venture between Airbus Military and Thales, which have been co-operating on A400M simulation since 2007.

The UK simulator will be the fourth to be produced, after one ordered for Airbus Military's training centre in Seville, Spain, and one each for France and Germany.

Thales visual and motion technology will be used for the devices, to be produced in Crawley, sustaining 50 UK jobs. The simulators' software and data package - the work of Airbus Military and its industrial partners - has, says the manufacturer, been "developed on the basis of Airbus commercial practice as this reduces to a minimum the time taken for any A400M aircraft changes to be reflected in the simulators".

The UK simulator order was placed on behalf of the nation's ministry of defence by the OCCAR procurement agency.

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