Advanced European Jet Pilot Training System (AEJPT)
The aim of the Advanced European Jet Pilot Training System (AEJPT) project was to develop a common Integrated Training System (ITS) to train future fighter pilots. This system wss to comprise not only the aircraft but also the basing infrastructure including Ground Based Training, Academic Training, Mission Planning/Debriefing Systems and the logistics to support the full system.
The AEJPT was to be split in a minimum of two different locations. The AEJPT would take into account that future operations will be characterised by the use of fighter aircraft in a network centric environment, with a combination of other air, naval and ground assets (including unmanned platforms). It will also contemplate new operational scenarios other than conventional war.
The AEJPT contest was aimed at developing a common trainer type for 12 nations which had been conducting joint studies intermittently since the mid-1990s. About 150 aircraft would be required should the AEJPT program go forward.
In 2004 Forecast International projected the EADS Mako to win the anticipated Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT) competition, despite stiff competition from Aermacchi’s M-346. As the Mako falls under the EADS umbrella, it may be a tough candidate to unseat, politically speaking. But the MAKO never even made it to the production line. It was trying very hard to be a light attack aircraft with its stealth, but as a trainer it was over engineered and too complicated.
The AEJPT was adopted by EDA as a Cat B Project in February 2009; in a pre-contract phase. The EDA has released on behalf of the contributing Member States a Request for Information (RFI) to industry; once the assessment of that information is completed, it will be used as basis to build the AEJPT final concept and to contract to Industry the Development and Production of such a system. The multinational Advanced European Jet Pilot Training programme (AEJPT) could reach initial operating capability by 2016.
In March 2010 Alenia Aermacchi (AAEM), a Finmeccanica company, and EADS Defence and Security (DS) submitted a joint response to the Request For Information (RFI) issued by the European Defence Agency (EDA) for the Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT) programme. By December 2011 Italy remained a supporter of the AEJPT scheme, with its interests linked closely to the proposed supply of Alenia Aermacchi M-346. With 15 new twin-engined transonic M-346 to support the Italian Air Force's LIFT activities from 2012, it remained the leading candidate for Eurotraining if the project advanced. The M-346 remained a favorite to deliver the Eurotraining syllabus.
Delays in moving AEJPT forward led some partner nations to look for interim solutions, which may preclude their participation in the program. The urgency with which the programme was being pursued appears to be waning. The Aermacchi M-346 was the only aircraft currently in production that meets the standards, and industry was reluctant to commit substantial investment into developing concepts for the program without firm commitments from the AEJPT partners.
The year 2012 marked the end of the effort to create the Advanced European Jet Pilot Training System (AEJPT), or Eurotraining program, which had been in the works for a decade. Defense News reported in December 2013 that "Following the breakdown of talks to set up a European jet pilot training program — which could have saved millions of euros — Europe’s air forces are sticking with the NATO school in Texas, going it alone or forging bilateral deals."
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