Skip to main content

Military Aircraft

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the hourly cost of air-to-air refuelling of an RAF VC10 is. (280062)

The full-cost hourly rate of operating a VC10 tanker in the air for financial year 2009-10 is calculated to be £29,235. This figure incorporates a variety of costs to enable an aircraft to operate, such as personnel costs, servicing of the aircraft and fuelling of the aircraft. It does not include the costs of the fuel payload VC10s carry to refuel other aircraft.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the out-of-service dates are for the (a) VC10 and (b) TriStar fleets. (280064)

Under current planning assumptions, the next VC10 will go out-of-service in June 2010 with the last of the fleet going out-of-service in September 2014. This progressive rundown is designed to ensure the smooth and efficient transition of air refuelling capability to the replacement Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft.

The out-of-service dates of the TriStar KCl and C2 aircraft have been extended by one year to 2016 in order to allow the replacement capability, Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, to be fitted with the most up-to-date protective measures for flying into operational areas. The out-of-service dates of both the VC10 and TriStar are kept under constant review as part of the Department’s internal planning process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contractual support arrangements there are for the (a) RAF VC10 and (b) TriStar fleets; and what the cost was in each case in each of the last two years. (280065)

Maintenance of the RAF VC10 fleet is provided by BAE Systems under a partnering agreement called JAVELIN (joint approach to VC10 engineering and logistics integration). Logistic support for the Conway engines used on the VC10 is provided by Rolls-Royce plc and engine repairs are undertaken by Vector Aerospace.

The RAF TriStar fleet is supported by the TriStar integrated operational support contract (TRIOS) with Marshall of Cambridge (Aerospace) Ltd. TRIOS excludes the RB211 engines which are contractually supported by Rolls-Royce plc, the auxiliary power units which are contractually supported by Euravia and the air-to-air refuelling equipment which is supported under the VC10 JAVELIN contract.

The cost of these contractual support arrangements is contained in the following table:

£ million

Aircraft

Financial year

VC10

TriStar

2007-08

77

21

2008-09

70

24

Note:

Costs have been rounded to the nearest million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many equipment failure reports there were in respect of (a) TriStar and (b) VC10 aircraft in each year since 2003. (280068)

The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

A Serious Fault Signal (SFS) is the reporting method used to notify the discovery of a fault that may have immediate and serious implications to an aircraft fleet, or range of equipment. The figures provided in the following table are the number of SFS reports received which are directly attributed to the TriStar and VC10.

TriStar

VC10

2003

1

0

2004

3

4

2005

0

2

2006

0

2

2007

2

1

2008

2

4

20092

1

4

1 Records for 2003 are not held centrally.

2 Up until 1 June, the last full month for which data are available.