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Aircraft

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Nimrod aircraft were operated by the RAF in each of the last 10 years; what the average age was of these aircraft in each year; what the age was of the oldest aircraft operated in each year; what plans he has to replace these aircraft; and if he will make statement. (91016)

[holding answer 13 September 2006]: The following table shows the number of Nimrod aircraft in service at the end of March of each financial year. It also shows their average age and what the age was of the oldest Nimrod aircraft operated by the RAF in each of the last 10 years.

Financial year

Number of aircraft

Average age of aircraft in year

Oldest aircraft in year

1996-97

29

26

28

1997-98

28

27

29

1998-99

26

28

30

1999-2000

26

29

31

2000-01

24

30

32

2001-02

24

31

33

2002-03

24

32

34

2003-04

24

33

35

2004-05

24

34

36

2005-06

24

35

37

The Nimrod MR2 will be replaced by the Nimrod MRA4, which has a planned in service date of 2010. A production contract for 12 MRA4 aircraft was announced in a written ministerial statement on 18 July 2006, Official Report, column 14WS. On current plans, the Nimrod R1 aircraft will continue to provide an electronic reconnaissance capability with incremental upgrades to that capability.