To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) the life expectancy of rotor blades in European conditions and (b) the average life expectancy in Iraq and Kuwait of each type of helicopter deployed in Operation Telic is; and if he will make a statement on the comparative lift capability of the fleets in such conditions. 
Main rotor blades typically have a long life expectancy, which in many cases is reflected in a fatigue life which exceeds that of the rotorcraft. Main rotor blades do, however, have a Mean Time Between Replacement (MTBR) which is shown by rotorcraft type in the following table. These figures represent a mean across all usage, and are not separated by environmental conditions (data on this are not held). Usually, main rotor blades that are replaced are repaired and returned to service.
|Rotorcraft||MTBR of main rotor blades (flying hours)|
|Chinook Mk 2/2a||1,600|
|Sea King Mk 4/7||986|
|Lynx Mk 3/7/8/9||1,366|
|Merlin Mk 1||Unknown due to insufficient use|