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Air Force: Military Aircraft

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF aircraft are in service; and what the (a) target and (b) actual number of each type of RAF aircraft fit for purpose is. (279949)

Information on the numbers of aircraft in service and fit for purpose (FFP) is given in the following table. Target figures are not used for all aircraft types and are included only where appropriate. The figures shown are a snapshot of the position on 31 May 2009.

Aircraft type

In service fleet

Target FFP

Actual FFP

BAe 146

2

1

1

BAe 125

6

3

3

C-17

6

5

3

Dominie

9

7

Harrier

74

46

Hawk Tl

129

88

Hawk T2

8

6

Hercules CI30K

14

7

7

Hercules CI30J

24

15

14

Nimrod MR2

11

8

6

Nimrod R1

3

1

1

Sea King (SARF)

25

17

10

Sentinel

5

4

3

Sentry

7

5

4

Tornado F3

62

28

Tornado GR4

138

89

TriStar

9

6

4

Tucano

95

55

Typhoon

56

37

VC10

16

12

9

Vigilant

64

64

Viking

82

82

‘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. Serviceable aircraft available to the front line commands for operational and training purposes are termed fit for purpose (FFP). Aircraft which are undergoing major servicing or routine maintenance are within the depth fleet and are therefore not relevant to this question.

Additionally, in the process of answering this question an error in the TriStar ‘in-service’ fleet number has been identified in the written answer I provided to you on 23 April 2009, Official Report, column 812W. The answer I provided stated that there were eight TriStars ‘in-service’ but the correct answer should have stated there were nine. This error occurred as one aircraft has been undergoing a major cockpit upgrade and was mistakenly not included in the ‘in-service’ fleet number.