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Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering

The DSAE is a federated school and comprises training establishments across 3 sites; it embraces the Royal Navy Air Engineering and Survival School (RNAESS) based at HMS SULTAN in Gosport, the REME School of Army Aeronautical Engineering (SAAE) based in Arborfield, the RAF No 1 School of Technical Training and the RAF Aerosystems Engineer and Management Training School; the latter 2, plus the Headquarters DSAE, are located at RAF Cosford. The Commandant DSAE, an RAF group captain, is also the Station Commander of RAF Cosford, i.e. he is dual-hatted.

The DSAE is committed to working with the Defence Technical Training Change Programme (DTTCP) Team to develop an affordable and value-for-money (VfM) solution for future technical training. This will initially be delivered at RAF Cosford through a transformation programme derived from a Strategic Improvement Event. Transformation will include the harnessing of the latest developments in training design and transforming technical training to encompass Modern Learning Methods that are coherent across the Technical Schools.

The DTTCP will include an element of estate rationalisation with a longer term aspiration to relocate all technical training to RAF Lyneham. There are still the hurdles of affordability and VfM to be overcome before technical training will relocate from Cosford to Lyneham. In the meantime, a VfM case was satisfied for the relocation of RAF Engineer Officer training to RAF Cosford and this was completed in January 2013.

DSAE Mission

To produce highly trained and motivated aeronautical engineering mechanics, technicians and officers ready to contribute to UK Defence.


The DSAE is responsible for the provision of all Phase 2 and some Phase 3 training for all aeronautical engineers in the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and, where directed, international military forces

Phase 2 (Generic) Training is an initial specialist training which prepares Service personnel for their first employment. (It normally follows on from Phase 1 Training, which is initial training in the basic military skills required by all Service personnel).

Phase 3 (Further) Training prepares Service personnel for further employment with an increased skill base and/or responsibility. It also encompasses training to meet career aspirations and professional development.

In all areas of its aeronautical engineering training delivery and training support, the DSAE is driving modernisation and efficiency, including the provision of a Basic Entry Scheme Foundation Degree course which is designed to prepare selected RAF non-commissioned personnel for RAF Engineer Branch commissioning.

DSAE Headquarters (HQ)

For the DSAE as a whole, the HQ provides the high-level planning and business development functions and ensures that the services provided to the DSAE satellite sites meet the standards set out in parenting agreements. The HQ forms the principal interface with other major stakeholders in the DTTCP.

RAF Aerosystems Engineer and Management Training School (AE&MTS)

AE&MTS has responsibility for the following RAF courses: Aircraft Technician Supervisors Course for Trade Group 1 (Aircraft Engineering) personnel selected for promotion to the rank of corporal and, subsequently, the Technician Engineering and Asset Management Training course when selected for promotion to Sergeant. AE&MTS also includes the Basic Entry Scheme (Aerospace) Foundation Degree for Future Engineering Officers (FEngOs) which is Engineer Officer Foundation Training. Additionally, through the Academic Principles Organisation, academic instruction and support is provided to the majority of engineering courses at RAF Cosford.

RAF No 1 School of Technical Training (No. 1 SofTT)

No 1 SofTT delivers an extensive range of Advanced Apprenticeship courses spanning Mechanical, Avionics, Weapons and Survival Equipment disciplines, as well as Human Factors and Expedient Repair training. Furthermore, No 1 SofTT is proud to be associated with and provide technical expertise and support to external agencies including: World Skills competition; Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE); Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM); and Royal Aeronautical Society lectures.

Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS)

The RNAESS is based at HMS SULTAN in Gosport. The school delivers training to all Air Engineer Officers and Ratings and Survival Equipment Ratings spanning the Mechanical, Avionics, Weapons and Survival Equipment disciplines, as well as Human Factors and Expedient Repair training for the Maritime environment for subsequent employment in the Fleet and Land domains.

School of Army Aeronautical Engineering (SAAE)

The SAAE based within the Arborfield Garrison, is responsible for training all Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) aviation technicians, artificers and engineering officers. The core academic principles content of SAAE’s courses, such as electronic theory and theory of flight, is delivered through the Electro-Mechanical Training Contract that also delivers training to other REME trades. SAAE’s military and civil service instructors deliver the specific aeronautical engineering subjects such as mechanical and avionic aircraft systems, air weapons, aircraft documentation and specific equipment training on the Lynx and Gazelle helicopters.

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