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Littoral Warfare: Helicopters

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of training provided for helicopter pilots participating in amphibious operations. (290328)

The UK amphibious helicopter capability is provided by the Commando Helicopter Force operating Sea King Mk 4 and Lynx Mk 7 helicopters, augmented when required by Chinook and Apache helicopters.

The initial training provided to helicopter pilots as part of the Commando Helicopter Force is considered satisfactory. The tempo of land operations over recent years has had an impact on the ability to conduct amphibious operations. Nevertheless, small scale exercises have been achieved and a minimal level of currency and competency for amphibious operations maintained.