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Gazelle Helicopters

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the replacement of the Gazelle fleet of helicopters on reaching its out-of-service date. (290329)

We have recently extended the out of service date for the Gazelle from 2012 to 2018. This change to our planning assumptions is based on a revised assessment of the need to provide a capability in support of domestic commitments, and can be safely provided from the remaining fatigue life of the airframes. This decision has no impact for operations in Afghanistan as the Gazelle is not used in the battlefield helicopter role; its former battlefield communications and ISTAR roles are all now performed by other helicopters and non-rotary wing assets.