asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the estimated normal service life of a Nimrod aircraft; what will be the approximate age of the aircraft to be withdrawn through the reduction of a quarter in the existing Nimrod maritime patrol force; and how their withdrawal will coincide with the completion of the eight new Nimrods now under construction.
The RAF's Nimrods entered service between 1969 and 1972, and are expected to remain in service until the 1990s. The reduction in the martime patrol force will be achieved by the withdrawal, by 1979, of the NEAF Nimrod Squadron. The last of the new Nimrods should be completed during 1976–77.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what reduction has been made in the proposed strength of the Victor K2 tanker force.
The reduction in overseas commitments as a result of the defence review has made it possible to reduce the previously planned Victor K2 force by five aircraft. It will still represent a significant improvement in overall capability over the existing K1 force.