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Helicopters

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Apache Mk1 helicopters have been grounded since entering service. (81131)

The term “grounded” has a particular meaning for the Ministry of Defence and refers to an aircraft which is awaiting the resolution of a specific technical query where the answer may affect airworthiness.

Since entering service in January 2001 no Apache Mkl helicopters have been grounded.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times Lynx (a) Mk7 and (b) Mk9 helicopters have been grounded because of mechanical problems in the last 12 months. (81137)

The term “grounded” has a particular meaning for the Ministry of Defence and refers to an aircraft which is awaiting the resolution of a specific technical query where the answer may affect airworthiness.

No Lynx Mk7 or Mk9 helicopter has been grounded for any reason in the last 12 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Air Force (a) Chinook, (b) Merlin, (c) Sea King and (d) Puma helicopters are (i) in service and (ii) fit for purpose. (81132)

“In service aircraft” are those located at front line and training units. An aircraft described as “fit for purpose” is available, reliable, airworthy and capable of carrying out its planned mission on a given date. The numbers of “fit for purpose” aircraft will vary; the following figures are the average for May 2006.

In service

Fit for purpose

Chinook Mk2/Mk2a

28

16

Merlin Mk3

14

8

Sea King

17

9

Puma

26

18