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Hercules Aircraft

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the effect on (a) serviceability and (b) availability of C130s has been of the introduction of the Hercules Integrated Operational Support contract provided by Marshall Aerospace. (125000)

The Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) contract's primary output is to provide Fit For Purpose (FFP) aircraft available to the Front Line Command. To qualify as FFP an aircraft must be reliable, safe and capable of performing the task on a given day.

HIOS is still in its transitional phase, and is due to complete on 30 November 2007. Nevertheless, between 1 September 2006 and 31 January 2007 (the most recent period for which data is available), there was a modest increase in FFP aircraft of 3 per cent. (whilst also reducing costs) when compared with a similar time frame under the previous aircraft support arrangements. This performance is expected to improve progressively as the full benefits of HIOS take effect.