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Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) the total helicopter fleet in service and (b) the helicopter forward air fleet were fit for purpose in each year since 2001, broken down by service and type. (259156)

The percentages of the total helicopter fleet and the forward helicopter fleet which are fit for purpose are not recorded as a matter of course, and are not therefore available from 2001 in all cases.

“In Service” has been taken to mean the Effective Fleet, which covers all aircraft barring those which are redundant, declared as surplus or awaiting disposal.

“Forward Fleet” aircraft are those that are available to the Front Line Commands for operational and training purposes, including those that are classed as “short term unserviceable”; aircraft undergoing scheduled depth maintenance, or planned routine fleet maintenance are excluded.

“Fit for Purpose” aircraft are those in the Forward Fleet considered capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date.

Percentage

Service and Helicopter

2001- 02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Royal Navy

Merlin HM1

Effective Fleet

20

16

17

10

24

29

29

29

Forward Fleet

44

35

37

21

48

48

46

52

Lynx Mk 3/8

Effective Fleet

36

38

42

44

40

40

38

40

Forward Fleet

56

56

60

66

62

58

55

61

Sea King Mk2/7

Effective Fleet

35

38

55

45

47

44

45

Forward Fleet

75

69

67

62

58

54

61

Sea King Mk5

Effective Fleet

37

35

39

39

37

43

43

42

Forward Fleet

70

65

65

66

56

59

59

57

Sea King Mk 4 and 6c

Effective Fleet

45

41

38

36

38

Forward Fleet

59

59

55

52

55

Army

Apache

Effective Fleet

28

31

34

30

Forward Fleet

54

54

50

40

A109

Effective Fleet

75

75

75

75

75

Forward Fleet

75

75

75

75

75

Gazelle

Effective Fleet

55

46

38

37

38

Forward Fleet

96

102

88

90

88

Lynx Mk 7 and 9

Effective Fleet

38

41

40

36

39

Forward Fleet

59

60

64

61

66

Royal Air Force

Chinook

Effective Fleet

43

38

40

45

50

Forward Fleet

55

56

59

62

69

Merlin Mk 3/3a

Effective Fleet

14

36

36

36

39

Forward Fleet

20

53

57

53

65

Puma

Effective Fleet

44

44

44

38

45

Forward Fleet

64

69

72

68

74

Sea King Mk 3/3a

Effective Fleet

36

36

32

Forward Fleet

53

53

47

Effective Fleet figures are as at 1 April of each year.

Fit for Purpose and Forward Fleet figures are an average across each year.