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Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the crew (a) requirement and (b) strength is for each helicopter type in the (i) Army Air Corps, (ii) Navy and (iii) RAF. (153319)

The current (a) requirement and (b) strength for crew personnel, for each relevant Unit/Squadron, for each helicopter type in the (i) Army Air Corps, (ii) Navy and (iii) RAF are shown in the following tables.

Army Air Corp

Army Air Corp Unit

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

HQ DAAvn

Lynx/Gazelle/Squirrel/Apache AH1

15

W

SAAvn

Lynx/Gazelle/Squirrel/Apache AH1

46

44

DHFS (Army)

Squirrel

14

10

1 Regt AAC

Lynx

40

41

3 Regt AAC

Apache AH1

61

31

4 Regt AAC

Apache AH1

61

43

5 Regt AAC

Gazelle

18

16

7 Regt AAC (V)

Gazelle (Regular)

4

4

Gazelle (Non-Regular Permanent Staff)

12

12

Gazelle (TA)

51

45

9 Regt AAC

Lynx

60

58

AMTAT

Apache AH1

12

12

HQ JSFAW (Army)

Lynx/Gazelle

3

3

657 Sqn AAC

Lynx

18

17

7 Fit—Brunei

Bell 21 2

8

10

8 Fit—Hereford

Augusta 109/Gazelle

4

5

12Flt—Elmpt

Gazelle

4

4

25 Fit—Belize

Bell 212

8

8

29 Fit—BATUS

Gazelle

4

4

Navy

Naval Air Squadron (MAS)

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

845 NAS

Sea King Mk 4/6CR

47

43

846 NAS

Sea King Mk 4/6CR

47

42

848 NAS

Sea King Mk 4

37

36

849 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

14

854 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

14

857 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

15

771 NAS

Sea King Mk 5 (Search and Rescue)

42

37

HMS GANNET

Sea King Mk 5 (Search and Rescue)

20

18

700 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

11

9

814 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

33

29

820 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

33

26

824 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

63

48

829 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

28

19

702 NAS

Lynx Mk 3/8

24

22

815 NAS

Lynx Mk 3/8

70

60

847 NAS

Lynx AH7

21

17

RAF

Royal Air Force Squadron

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

33Sqn

Puma HC 1

66

65

230 Sqn

Puma HC 1

64

64

7 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

46

44

18 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

94

86

27 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

68

72

28 Sqn

Merlin Mk HC 3

88

84

22 Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

60

60

202 Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

60

60

203 (R) Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

26

25

SARTU

Griffin HAR 2

19

18

60 (R) Sqn

Griffin HT 1

24

24

84 Sqn

Griffin HAR 2

12

12

DHFS

Squirrell HT 1

18

18

32 Sqn

Augusta 109

3

3

The actual strength of the two Apache Units (three and four Regiment Army Air Corps) reflects the fact that these helicopters are relatively new to service and as such these newly formed units will not achieve ‘steady state’1 until 2010; we are in the process of manning these units and have a number of pilots in the training pipeline. Apache pilot availability is sufficient to meet operational requirements.

1 Steady state is defined as the point at which the training pipeline is providing sufficient pilots to replace those lost through natural wastage.