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Pilot Training

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training hours flying time per month fast jet pilots will have access to in 2006-07. (89668)

The 2006-07 planned average flying hours per month per fast jet pilot on operational squadrons is:

Hours per month

Harrier

17.5

Jaguar

16.5

Tornado F3

17.5

Tornado GR4

17.5

Typhoon

17.5

The figures do not include operational conversion unit (OCU) flying hours, which are calculated annually and are shown in the following table. As training needs vary considerably, these hours are allocated to the unit and not to individual pilots.

Hours per year

Harrier OCU

4,290

Tornado F3 OCU

13,968

Tornado GR4 OCU

6,600

Typhoon OCU

3,998

156(R) Squadron flies an additional 411 hours in support of the Falkland Islands and other operations such as Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).

Notes:

1. OCUs work on a ‘block’ number of hours allocated to them to accommodate course flying and provide Staff Continuation Training (SCT). SCT also includes teaching sorties.

2. With the continued drawdown of the fleet, there is no longer conversion training on the Jaguar.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the readiness and capability of the Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids platform for training Typhoon pilots; (90382)

(2) how much has been spent on the Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids platform for training Typhoon pilots.

The in-service date for Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids (ASTA) was achieved in August 2005 with the handover of the emulated deployable cockpit trainer at RAF Coningsby. Typhoon aircrew synthetic training demand is being met by these systems and is expected to be supplemented by the first ASTA cockpit trainer and full mission simulator from December 2006.

Approximately £200 million has been spent on ASTA to date.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how long the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform has been in development; (90383)

(2) what the timetable is for completion of the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform;

(3) how much has been spent on the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform.

Maintenance SIM trainer (MST) has been developed as part of the ground training aids contract that was signed in December 2000. MST achieved type acceptance at an interim standard in 2005 and is planned to be delivered to an upgraded standard by the end of 2006. The total value of the MST contract to the four Typhoon partner nations is €26.7 million, of which €22.2 million has been spent to date.