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Military Aircraft

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Air Force aircraft of each type are (a) in service, (b) in the forward air fleet and (c) fit for purpose. [Official Report,3 June 2009, Vol. 493, c. 4MC.] (269167)

The numbers of aircraft of each type which are in service, in the forward fleet and fit for purpose are provided in the following table. The figures shown are the average for February 2009 and have been rounded to the nearest aircraft.

“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.

The number of aircraft in the forward fleet comprises aircraft which are serviceable and those which are short term unserviceable. Short term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or any other unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. Serviceable aircraft available to the front-line commands for operational and training purposes are termed fit for purpose.

Aircraft type

In service fleet

Forward fleet

Fit for purpose

BAe 146

2

1

1

BAe 125

6

4

4

C-17

6

5

4

Dominie

9

7

5

Harrier

74

49

44

Hawk Tl

132

90

59

Hercules CI30K

15

11

6

Hercules CI30J

24

19

12

Nimrod MR2

14

10

4

Nimrod Rl

3

1

1

Sea King

25

17

10

Sentinel

5

3

2

Sentry

7

5

4

Tornado F3

69

33

29

Tornado GR4

138

84

66

Tristar

8

6

4

Tucano

55

55

40

Typhoon

53

35

20

VC10

16

13

8

Vigilant

64

63

44

Viking

65

65

60