[holding answer 1 November 2006]: The MOD’s Disposal Services Agency sold six helicopters between September 2005 and September 2006. Three Sea Kings, which were not in an airworthy condition, were sold via Agusta Westland, under a Commercial Marketing Agreement, to Australia for spares recovery; one Army Sioux was sold privately; and one Wessex and one Sea King were sold as scrap.
The MOD does not use the terms fit for service and battleworthy in describing helicopters. We use the term “fit for purpose”, which means those that are available, reliable, airworthy and capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date.
Helicopter type Fit for purpose (Percentage) A109 77 Apache 60 Chinook 61 Gazelle AH1 76 Lynx MK 3 and 8 57 Lynx MK 7 and 9 59 Merlin MK 1 48 Merlin MK 3 53 Puma 73 Sea King MK 3/3A 53 Sea King MK4/6C 51 Sea King MK 5 53 Sea King MK 7 56
Fit for purpose (Percentage)
Lynx MK 3 and 8
Lynx MK 7 and 9
Merlin MK 1
Merlin MK 3
Sea King MK 3/3A
Sea King MK4/6C
Sea King MK 5
Sea King MK 7
The percentages shown in the table indicate the proportion of the helicopter fleet available to front-line commands, which are considered “fit for purpose”. These numbers will vary; the figures shown are the average for the period from 1 June to 30 September 2006.
All UK helicopters deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are considered fit for purpose, but not all will be available for operational flying each day due to routine maintenance requirements. However, these factors are taken into consideration, and sufficient helicopters are provided to meet current operational requirements. We continue to review these operational requirements and adjust as necessary.